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New ALEC Documents Show Regulatory Capture in Action


Business  (tags: CO2emissions, climate-change, climatechange, environment, greenhousegases, protection, politics, pollution, government, corporate, abuse, americans, business, corruption, dishonesty, ethics, investing, investments, investors, law, lies, marketing, money )

JL
- 656 days ago - thenation.com
The files, obtained from an ALEC meeting earlier this month, show Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Tom Easterly presenting his own plan for how to block federal regulations for greenhouse gas emissions.



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JL A. (275)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 8:46 am
New ALEC Documents Show Regulatory Capture in Action
Lee Fang on December 19, 2012 - 3:21 PM ET

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative nonprofit that helps corporate lobbyists author “model” legislation for state-level lawmakers, is also a forum for industry to gain access to state regulators.

Greenpeace’s Connor Gibson posted quite a few ALEC documents on his organization’s blog that reveal an unseemly effort by coal lobbyists to thwart air pollution standards. But there’s a twist to this already-familiar campaign against EPA rules. The files, obtained from an ALEC meeting earlier this month, show Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Tom Easterly presenting his own plan for how to block federal regulations for greenhouse gas emissions.

Rather than working to “implement federal and state regulations to protect human health and the environment,” as his mission statement claims, here we have Indiana’s top clean air official offering coal lobbyists recommendations on how to best block rules curbing pollution. Greenpeace noted:

In a USB drive branded with the logo of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), a folder labeled “Easterly” contains a presentation titled “Easterly ALEC presentation 11 28 12” explaining current EPA air pollution rules and how Tom Easterly has worked to obstruct them. The power point is branded with the Indiana Department of Environmental Protection seal. In the latter presentation, Easterly ended his briefing to ALEC’s dirty energy members with suggestions for delaying EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions at coal plants.

Easterly’s presentation, which is posted on his Indiana Deptartment of Environmental Management commissioner webpage, even offered a template state resolution that would burden EPA with conducting a number of unnecessary cost benefit analyses (which the federal government has done through the Social Cost of Carbon analysis) in the process of controlling GHG emissions.

David Flannery, an attorney for several coal-fire utility companies who has sued the federal government over cross-state pollution rules, presented alongside Easterly. Contacted by The Nation, a spokesperson for Easterly declined to reveal the other participants in the meeting. But, a sponsor list obtained by Greenpeace shows that the event was underwritten by Peabody Coal, ACCCE (a trade association for the coal industry), and several other industry groups with a stake in blocking new EPA rules on emissions.

An attached promotional flier from ALEC said companies could pay for the privilege of becoming part of the task force sponsoring the proposed legislation. Asked why a top clean-air regulator would give pollution lobbyists tips for blocking new rules, Easterly’s office told us, “The commissioner regularly meets with and presents information to groups that are interested in environmental affairs.”

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As Greenpeace notes, Easterly’s office also published a “State of the Environment” report last year that advances bogus climate-change-denier arguments.

We’ve seen many, many examples of regulators bending over backwards to provide favors to the companies that they are in charge of regulating, only to be handed lucrative jobs with those same firms after they retire from public office. ALEC has been successful as a ghostwriting front because it poses as a nonprofit charity interested in promoting conservative ideals (a farce, by the way, since the group promotes big government and opposes free trade when it suits corporate interests). In this instance, it seems ALEC is expanding its role and is playing lobbyist match-maker with state regulators.

For more on ALEC, read John Nichols on how the organization has helped stifle progress on gun control.
 

Suheyla C. (229)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 9:48 am
Dear JL,
Happy new year .
Thank you for Sharing . noted.
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 12:01 pm
Thanks Suheyla--Happy new year to you, too. You are welcome.
 

Michael Kirkby (85)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 12:45 pm
If we built several waste conversion plants; we could harness on a yearly basis all the detritus; drivel; hot air and horse cookies from all the lobbyist groups like ALEC and from every political level to fuel every major US city per annum.
 

Kit B. (276)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 2:18 pm

We have power in numbers, we have power in how we chose to spend our money. Use it or soon it will be too late.
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 2:48 pm
I like your idea Michael. You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week.
You are SO right Kit. You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week.
 

John B. (175)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 2:51 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post Read and noted. As a side note AT&T has supported Alec and I had sent several emails and made 4 phone calls to ask them to stop their support. With no positive response from them, I dumped AT&T as my phone and internet provider on Dec 28 and told them why I was doing so.
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 3:16 pm
You are welcome John and thanks ever so much for providing us a good example of how to take action to address concerns and issues such as those raised by this article--sure wish my green star supply were replenished.
 

Roger Garin-michaud (64)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 3:59 pm
noted, thanks !
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 4:17 pm
You are welcome Roger!
 

Dorothy N. (63)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 8:54 pm





WOW, great find, J.L. A.!

... The files, obtained from an ALEC meeting earlier this month, show Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Tom Easterly presenting his own plan for how to block federal regulations for greenhouse gas emissions.

Rather than working to “implement federal and state regulations to protect human health and the environment,” as his mission statement claims, here we have Indiana’s top clean air official offering coal lobbyists recommendations on how to best block rules curbing pollution. ...

Caught black-handed, as one might say - but will he be fired and charged with this betrayal of trust?

Politicians are 'of the people' and not only NOT 'above the law', but must be held to a higher standard.

Yet while high level public servants may be fired/impeached or forced to resign when publicly caught cheating on their wives, they appear to be able to cheat the people out of money, public property which is properly to be held in trust in perpetuity for those to come, of health, life and rights with apparent impunity, no charges even mentioned.

This must change.

It's often been said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts completely, so there's not much point being surprised when a complete lack of consequence for corruption allows the condition to flourish in democracy, where all are entitled to equal treatment under the law - like it or not, in such cases as this.

Such behaviour in a private enterprise (at least from any not at the top of of the tree) betraying and foiling the purpose of the businesses by which the person was employed, would, I should think, result in significant jail time.

If I recall correctly, Nixon was charged, if pardoned; following this, conditions have worsened to the point seen now.


The sex lives of others are none of our business and extra-marital affairs should be between the parties involved.

We are told that a fuss is made over such instances among politicians, as with Clinton, that it's because, if he'll cheat on his wife, he could cheat on the public as well.

But when the public are screwed over, even when large numbers are going to be sickened/killed as a result of such instances as this - nada - not even a concern that the official involved might next move to an affair...

And it's all too likely that the public will be told to bend over and take it instead.
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 9:12 pm
Sad but seemingly all to true. CA sent some state politicians to prison in the early 1990's...but somehow sanctions are slow to emerge against elected officials now even when blatantly ignoring oaths of office, etc. You cannot currently send a star to Dorothy because you have done so within the last week.
 

Angelus Silesius (66)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 4:53 am
One problem is that most regulating government officials get lucrative private sector jobs which helps private scector combat or hoodwink these regulating bodies. It essentially boils down to government officials battling government officials or a good ole boy network in which former officials establish liasons with current officials
 

JL A. (275)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 9:24 am
Some states have laws forbidding moving to jobs and/or contracts related to former government duties for a specified length of time--CA has been lengthening those time gaps to address such problems but few of the laws forbid lobbying and similar duties (PACs, think tanks, etc.) that are perceived to have similar influence and ethical challenges as those forbidden by law Jaime.
 

Robert O. (12)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 12:37 pm
ALEC is evil, plain and simple.

Thanks J.L. A.!
 

JL A. (275)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 2:24 pm
You're welcome Robert.
 

Nancy C. (797)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 2:36 pm
I have hope that transparency becomes the norm and we keep smokin' out the rats. Now to disengage Citizens United and let business be business and not lobbiests for our livelihood.
 
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