Monday, June 17, 2013

ALEC - "Not geared to be a fair debate"

Previously I have written about how ALEC members are going to Alberta to be wined and dined by the tar sands companies.
May 2013 the ALEC blogsite had an article on it
March 2013 the ALEC blogsite had an article on it

Today on PRWatch – there is this paragraph in an article about ALEC and the tar sands companies that answered a question I consistently had – Who paid for these trips?  (You will note that I use the plural “these trips” – because I believe that there has been more than one - I think we are foolish and naive to think this only happened once.)

According to documents obtained by CMD, AFPM, the group behind the new ALEC “model” bill also co-sponsored an ALEC-organized three-day trip for state legislators to visit the Alberta tar sands in October 2012, just a month before they brought the “model” bill to the ALEC conference in Washington, D.C. The trip was described in the obtained documents as an “ALEC Academy,” which according to a pricelist of ALEC events typically carries an $80,000 sponsorship price tag.
$80,000 – that's chump change to the fossil fuel companies.
ALEC makes it possible for legislators to go on junkets to meet privately with executives of private industry in a foreign country. What else does the ALEC main office facilitate?

There was something else in that section of the article that was kinda interesting.
A quote by a Republican who found the American Legislative Exchange Council too extreme for them.
“I was struck by how much industry having a prominent role within ALEC is just taken for granted,” Rick Russman told CMD in a telephone interview. Russman, a former Republican state senator from New Hampshire, attended the ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force meeting in Washington, D.C. at which the LCFS bill was passed.

“These ALEC events are put on to benefit industry, not to serve the environment or to serve the interests of the country.” Russman, who co-founded the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, is a former chair of the National Conference of State Legislators Committee on the Environment. “At NCSL we always tried to have speakers from different sides of a debate, to try to have a balance, but that isn’t at all the case at ALEC. It’s not geared to be a fair debate,” he said.

It's important to remember that ALEC has been involved with tar sands for quite awhile.  TransCanada has paid into the ALEC Corporate scholarship funds so they can meet privately behind closed doors with ALEC legislators.
TransCanada PipeLines Limited   $1,000.00

South Dakota – 2007 Scholarship Fund
TransCanada PipeLines Ltd.          $500.00

So - we really need to ask the following questions -
  • How long has Transcanada Pipelines been involved with ALEC?
  • What level of involvement has TransCanada had with writing ALEC legislation?
  • Is this why the Premier of Saskatchewan and staff went to an ALEC meeting?
  • How much financial support have they given to ALEC?
  • How much undue influence have ALEC members had in regards to TransCanada and the Keystone - based on their association with TransCanada through ALEC?
  • Did the Koch brothers make sure this connection was made between ALEC and TransCanada?

Lots of questions -
I guess the public would like some Keystone/Transcanada/ALEC  answers on this!!!
What exactly has ALEC legislators done to promote the XL Pipeline for their ALEC corporate benefactors?

July 2010

Natural Resources Task Force
Beth Jensen
Private Sector Member (M1)
Manager, Government Relations
13710 FNB Parkway
Omaha, NE 68154
Phone: 402.492.3400 FAX: 402.492.7491

2011 - the ALEC resolution
Resolution in Support of the Keystone XL Pipeline 


WHEREAS, The United States relies – and will continue to rely for many years – on gasoline, diesel and jet fuel despite the recent focus on renewable and alternative sources of energy. In order to fuel our economy, the United States will need more oil and natural gas while also requiring additional alternative energy sources such as ethanol and other renewable energy sources; and

WHEREAS, The United States currently depends on foreign imports for more than half of our petroleum usage. As the largest consumer of petroleum in the world, our dependence on overseas oil has created difficult geopolitical relationships with damaging consequences for our national security; and

WHEREAS, oil shale deposits in the Bakken Reserves in Montana and North Dakota and South Dakota are an increasingly important crude oil resource, with an estimated 11 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil, and there is not enough pipeline capacity for crude oil supplies from Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas to American refineries; and

WHEREAS, Canadian oil reserves contain an estimated 173 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Canada is the single largest supplier of oil to the United States at 2.62 million barrels per day and has the capacity to significantly increase that rate; and 7

WHEREAS, the Keystone XL pipeline will, when completed, carry 700,000 barrels of North American oil to American refineries in the Gulf Coast region and construction of the project will create 120,000 jobs nationwide, create $20 billion in economic growth and generate millions of dollars worth of government receipts; and

WHEREAS, A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that increasing delivery to American refineries from Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alberta, as well as Texas and Oklahoma to American refineries has the potential to substantially reduce our country's dependency on sources outside of North America; and

WHEREAS, Canada sends more than 99% of its oil exports to the United States, the bulk of which goes to Midwestern refineries. Oil companies are investing huge sums to expand and upgrade refineries in the Midwest and elsewhere to make gasoline and other refined products from Canadian oil derived from oil sands. The expansion and upgrade projects will create many new construction jobs over the next five years and, in [INSERT STATE], substantially add to our state's gross state product; and

WHEREAS, The same money used to buy North American oil will likely later be spent directly on U.S. goods and services in contrast with the money sent to hostile oil-producing governments that is later used to further anti-democratic agendas. Supporting the continued shift towards reliable and secure sources of North American oil is of vital interest to the United States and the state of [INSERT STATE].

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That we, the members of the [INSERT LEGISLATIVE BODY] of the state of [INSERT STATE], support continued and increased development and delivery of oil derived from North American oil reserves to American refineries, urge Congress to support that continued and increased development and delivery, and urge Congress to ask the U.S. Secretary of State to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project that has been awaiting a presidential permit since 2008 to reduce dependence on unstable governments, improve our national security, and strengthen ties with an important ally; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the [INSERT STATE LEGISLATIVE BODY] transmit duly authenticated copies of this resolution to the Speaker and Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, to the President Pro Tempore and Secretary of the United States Senate, to the members of the [INSERT STATE] Congressional delegation, and to the news media of [INSERT STATE].

Also important to remember
ALEC boasts 2,000+ state legislators that do what ALEC corporations tell them to do.
ALEC boasts 97 ALECers in Congress that do what ALEC corporations tell them to do.

$80,000 is chump change to get ALEC morons to do what you want them to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment