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Category — American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

ALEC to States: Repeal Renewable Energy Mandates (‘Electricity Freedom Act’ model bill adopted)

“Households in 29 states are and will continue to see higher electricity rates, lower economic growth and, subsequently, lower standard of livings without outright repeal of these crony capitalist policies.” 

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the nation’s largest non-partisan association of state legislators boasting more than 2,000 members from all 50 states, recently adopted a firm stance opposing misguided government intervention into the electricity market which works against affordable, reliable electricity.

ALEC’s model bill for state legislators, entitled the Electricity Freedom Act, repeals a state’s renewable energy mandate stating:

“…a renewable energy mandate is essentially a tax on consumers of electricity that forces the use of renewable energy sources beyond what would be called for by real market forces and under conditions of real competition in generation resources…”

Due in part to pressure from environmental groups and the renewable energy industry lobby, a movement began in the late 1990s and continued through the mid-2000s to enact state-based renewable energy mandates. These mandates have been called Renewable Portfolio Standards, Renewable Energy Standards or, more innocuously, Alternative Energy Standards.

No matter how described, these policies force electric utilities to provide a percentage or quota of renewable energy as part of the electricity generation mix by a certain target year. Simply put, these policies force citizens, businesses, and industry within a state to purchase renewable energy whether or not they value or can afford it. [Read more →]

November 1, 2012   20 Comments

Energy at ALEC: Response to Media Matters

I expected the worst when I saw that Media Matters, the communications watchdog for the Democratic Left,  had profiled my recent energy speech given to 1,000-strong at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting. Still, I think it useful to rebut Media Matters’s Alexander Zaitchik whose report is reproduced with my parsed comments in blue.


MM: The agenda in Salt Lake City was heavy on energy themes. Keynoting one of the luncheons was Robert Bradley, CEO of the free-market and pro-climate change Institute for Energy Research.

Comment:   “Free market” is an apt term–thank you, Sir. But “pro-climate change? I have never heard that. That tricky to equate climate change with the human influence on climate, as if natural forces were not also at work.

In rebuttal, I’ll just quote James Hansen on climate change:

“Climate is always changing. Climate would fluctuate without any change of climate forcings. The chaotic aspect of climate is an innate characteristic of the coupled fundamental equations describing climate system dynamics.” [1]

And with that I will just say that IER is just a free-market, dynamic, in-the-flow change-agent!

MM: Bradley informed the legislators packed into the Grand Ballroom that “the human impact on the climate is a probably a net positive,” and boasted of America’s growing production of oil, coal and gas.

Comment: Consider Chip Knappenberger’s 55 Positive Externalities: Hail to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment, or the fact that carbon-based energy is a wealth creator, and wealth is health.

And here is some support from chair professors at major universities: A Positive Human Influence on Global Climate? Robert Mendelsohn, Meet Gerald North! With Texas A&M climatologist North’s moderate estimate of anthropogenic warming, which is in the upper end of the luke-warming range, Yale University’s Mendelsohn sees a bit more positives and negatives in the overall global economy, and definite net positives for the U.S. economy. 

This is good news indeed for those that might sincerely believe anthropogenic warming is a bad thing to come.

MM: His chirpy manner darkened only when he noted China’s growing lead in the production and use of coal. “China beats us on coal,” lamented Bradley. “If not for China, we’d be number one.” [Read more →]

August 13, 2012   4 Comments