Category Archives: ALEC

Sen. John Barrasso predicted China emissions wrong

See the power behind FERC get it very wrong. About China emissions, about energy and economy, about solar power, and all in one speech.

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), YouTube, 3 December 2009 (posted 15 Dec 2009), U.S. Senator John Barrasso speaks at ALEC in December 2009 in DC. Part 3,

Just look at China, Continue reading

Moratorium on Palmetto Pipeline goes to GA Gov. for signature on HB 1036

We all won twice against invading pipelines this week in the Georgia legislature. Yes, pipeline companies, advocates of water, air, and property rights work together, too A smashing 34-128 defeat of Spectra Energy’s invading Sabal “Sinkhole” Trail natural gas pipeline, by WWALS, Flint Riverkeeper, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Georgia Sierra Club, Georgia Water Coalition, SpectraBusters, and many others, wasn’t the only win for landowners, environmentalists, and the people in the Georgia legislature this week. Push Back the Pipeline‘s petroleum products moratorium passed the final legislative hurdle in the House and is on its way to Gov. Nathan Deal to sign. You know, if Deal had stood up for the people against Sabal Trail, too, its easements to drill under Georgia rivers including our Withlacoochee River and Okapilco Creek, would have been defeated in the State Land Commission of which he is chair before they ever got to the legislature. But we all won, and won again! Spectra, Kinder Morgan, and even ALEC lost this time.

Walter C. Jones, jacksonville.com, 23 March 2016, Bill to stall pipeline from Belton, S.C., to Jacksonville awaits Georgia governor’s signature: Georgia House adopted moratorium that would impose moratorium on licensing and permitting until July 2017, Continue reading

Atlanta TV station exposes ALEC lobbyists in Savannah

Caught on-camera: ALEC’s off-duty sheriff’s deputies getting TV reporters thrown out of their own hotel for “taking pictures in the hotel”, after ALEC’s marketing droid denied any lobbying going on, nevermind the lobbyist and legislator in a bar spelling out how it works: ALEC gives “scholarships” to legislators who then meet in closed rooms with corporate reps (including all the companies involved in the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline) who have equal votes on draft bills for legislators to get passed as law in many states. Bills promoting fracking, pipelines, LNG export, and against solar power, renewable portfolio standards, not to mention for private prisons and privatized education and against municipal broadband and country-of-origin labelling, plus many other corporate give-aways subsidized by the taxpayers and the environment. It’s time for the IRS to revoke ALEC’s 501(c)(3) status. And for the Georgia legislature to apply the state’s sunshine laws to itself.

Brendan Keefe and Michael King, WXIA-TV, 22 May 2015, Legislators and corporate lobbyists meet in secret at Georgia resort, Continue reading

Solar Power Hot Topic on LAKE blog

Some like pithy posts, and others like long historical summaries: see the Solar Hot Topic for the latter. I’ve just added links about solar parking lots, Oakland, CA, Dublin, GA and Lowndes High Schools, and super-lobbying group ALEC’s efforts in every state legislature to oppose solar power.

Solar will win, simply because it’s already cheaper than anything else and the prices keep going down. The fossil industry will delay as long as possible to suck up more profit, but even Wall Street has turned against fossilized utilities that aren’t doing renewables yet. We the people will win. We just need to stop the fossil junkies from doing more damage before they lose. The sun is already rising.

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Solar benefits outweigh costs in NC

And the same is true in Georgia, despite Georgia Power and Southern Company.

John Downey wrote for Charlotte Business Journal 23 October 2013, Study: Solar benefits outweigh costs in NC

An independent study published by a nationally known energy consultant asserts that adding 500 megawatts of solar generation in North Carolina would save utility ratepayers about $26 million annually.

It notes the gains from solar projects — such as lower transmission and distribution costs, avoided emissions, lower losses of electricity in transmission. The study calculates that such benefits outweigh the costs by 30 percent to 40 percent.

The study considered two intertwined solar methods: Continue reading

Utilities can’t take the solar heat

Utilities are trying increasingly desperate tactics in their losing battle against distributed rooftop solar power. It’s time for them to get out in front and lead instead.

Clare Foran wrote for NationalJournal Are Utilities Wilting From Heat of Solar Competition?

Regulatory battles over solar power payment models played out in several states this year. And as the dust settles, solar providers are claiming victory. Utilities, on the other hand, are trying to reframe the conversation entirely by insisting they aren’t an enemy of solar.

After discussing utlities’ attempts to bash net metering, she notes the Sierra Club hard-won victory over the ALEC solar tax:

In November, Georgia Power backed down Continue reading

ALEC solar tax

Arizona, Virginia, and now they’re trying in Georgia: ALEC wants to tax your solar panels. ALEC is trying to legislate buggy whip requirements in an age of affordable electric cars.

Suzanne Goldenberg and Ed Pilkington wrote for the Guardian 4 December 2013, ALEC calls for penalties on ‘freerider’ homeowners in assault on clean energy,

Documents obtained by the Guardian show the core elements of its strategy began to take shape at the previous board meeting in Chicago in August, with meetings of its energy, environment and agriculture subcommittees.

Further details of Alec’s strategy were provided by John Eick, the legislative analyst for Alec’s energy, environment and agriculture program.

Eick told the Guardian the group would be Continue reading

Bloomberg discovers mandated prison beds for CCA profit

The feds also fell for CCA’s prison snakeoil; it’s not just for states like Georgia.

William Selway & Margaret Newkirk wrote for Bloomberg 24 September 2013, Congress Mandates Jail Beds for 34,000 Immigrants as Private Prisons Profit,

Noemi Romero, who came to the U.S. illegally at age 3, was arrested in January working at a Phoenix grocery store, where she used someone else’s name to get the job.

Romero, a 21-year-old who likes to draw and dance, spent the next four months behind bars, almost half of it in a cramped cell at a 1,596-bed detention center in Eloy, Arizona, run by Corrections Corp. of America. The company, with Geo Group Inc. (GEO) and other for-profit prison operators, holds almost two-thirds of all immigrants detained each day in federally funded prisons as they face deportation, U.S. data show.

Under law, taxpayers must pay Continue reading

Georgia’s ALEC local cheap labor law

Did you know in 2005 Georgia passed a cheap labor law even more draconian than its ALEC model Local Minimum Wage Preemption Act?

Here’s the law, 2005-2006 Regular Session – HB 59 Minimum wage mandates by local governments; change certain provisions, sponsored by who else but resigned-in-disgrace for promoting an Agenda 21 talking points film at the statehouse Chip Rogers, who nonetheless also sponsored the successful charter school and multi-year contract constitutional amendments. HB 59 took effect 1 July 2005. Here’s the part that matches the ALEC model Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act:

ALEC Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act 34-4-3.1(a)(6)(b)

(1) Any and all wage or employment benefit mandates adopted by any local government entity are hereby preempted.

(2) No local government entity may adopt, maintain, or enforce by charter, ordinance, purchase agreement, contract, regulation, rule, or resolution, either directly or indirectly, a wage or employment benefit mandate.

Here’s the part that goes beyond even what ALEC proposed: Continue reading

How can we get Georgia to move ahead in solar power?

If we can’t expect Georgia Power or Southern Company to change their tune about solar power, what can we do? Legislate and raise public pressure, while getting on with installing what solar power we can.

Maybe it’s time to pass something like HB 267 that would limit Georgia Power’s profits on that 19-month-late and $1 billion over budget nuclear boondoggle at Plant Vogtle. Instead of pouring more money down that broken concrete pit on the Savannah River, we need something like GA SB 51, The Georgia Cogeneration and Distributed Generation Act, to fix Georgia’s special solar financing problem, the antique 1973 Territorial Electric Service Act. That’s the 40-year-old antiquated law that SO CEO Thomas A. Fanning says “we need to protect”. Maybe SO does, for Fanning’s huge raises in compensation. Georgia Power and SO are not only defending that antique law, they’re preventing a Georgia Renewable Portfolio Standard (REPS) by stopping passage of bills like HB 503. Georgia Power, SO, and super-lobby ALEC systematically oppose renewable energy standards. They do this so successfully there are no REPS in Southern Company (SO)’s service territory, nor in most of SO’s surrounding “Competitive Generation Opportunities” states. One of the few exceptions is North Carolina, and a bill was introduced there to eliminate NC’s REPS.

Maybe it’s even time to do something about Georgia Power’s 11% guaranteed profit. Isn’t Georgia Power supposed to be a utility operating for the good of Georgians? Why does it get a guaranteed profit to pass on to Southern Company shareholder dividends and SO executive bonuses?

Georgia Power and even Southern Company could suddenly flip for solar power like Austin Energy did in 2003 and Cobb EMC did in 2012. But that probably won’t happen without a lot of public pressure, legal requirements by the Georgia legislature or PSC, or a shareholder revolt. So let’s start with the public pressure….

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