It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council, or "ALEC," will bring together hundreds of corporate lobbyists with state and local politicians at a posh hotel in San Diego for the group's annual meeting.
Attacking Federal Efforts to Rein in Carbon Pollution
Undermining Renewable Energy
Thwarting Rooftop Solar
Direct-to-consumer energy sales that bypass heavily-regulated monopoly utilities might be viewed as the sort of "market disruption" that free market adherents claim to support.
After all, ALEC has celebrated the emergence of ride-sharing companies like Uber because they disrupt taxi monopolies and allow direct-to-consumer ride sales.
The key difference is that ALEC is bankrolled by utility companies.
ALEC funders like Peabody Energy, Duke Energy, and Murray Energy are not pleased about the threat to profits posed by direct-to-consumer solar, so therefore it must be crushed, free market principles be damned.
Incredibly, the "Resolution Concerning Special Markets for Direct Solar Power Sales" declares that direct-to-consumer solar is "antithetical to free markets."
Local democracy has led to some significant policy wins in recent years, with cities like Philadelphia guaranteeing workers paid sick days, and places like Denton, Texas banning fracking.
ALEC's response to cities and counties acting as laboratories of democracy has traditionally been to crush it, through state "preemption" laws that prohibit local governments from raising the minimum wage, or regulating GMOs, or building municipal broadband.
The biggest proactive ACCE initiative is a push for local right to work laws.
In the months following a local right to work workshop at ACCE's meeting last December, twelve Kentucky counties have enacted the anti-union measures, and similar proposals have been floated in states like Illinois and Pennsylvania.
But enacting right to work on the local level likely violates federal law, so groups like the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity and the state Chamber of Commerce are bankrolling the legal defense of counties that get sued.
Amending the Constitution
Key to the Article V push has been the "Jeffersonian Project," the 501(c)(4) group that ALEC formed in 2013 amidst complaints from Common Cause and CMD that ALEC was violating its 501(c)(3) charitable status by engaging in excessive lobbying.
In order to deflect allegations of lobbying, the "Jeffersonian Project" is now used to urge legislators to pass ALEC model legislation, an activity that ALEC used to do directly.