… think again.
Yes, the Koch’s and friends poured big money into the election and it didn’t give them President Romney or control of the Senate. But their destroy American energy innovation by keeping the US reliant on outdated, climate changing, polluting fossil fuels agenda is not dead. Not by a long shot. In fact, they are just getting started. Take a gander at this story from WaPo:
The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank skeptical of climate change science, has joined with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to write model legislation aimed at reversing state renewable energy mandates across the country.
The Electricity Freedom Act, adopted by the council’s board of directors in October, would repeal state standards requiring utilities to get a portion of their electricity from renewable power, calling it “essentially a tax on consumers of electricity.” Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have binding renewable standards; in the absence of federal climate legislation, these initiatives have become the subject of intense political battles. […]
Todd Wynn, who directs ALEC’s energy, environment and agriculture task force, said the group decided to take up the issue because some of its members are worried about the mandates’ “impacts on their state’s economies and their constituents.”
“It is not that ALEC is opposed to renewable energy in any way,” Wynn said. “But we are opposed to government intervention mandating certain energy sources over others.”
The Electricity Freedom Act? Straight out of Orwell. You would think our politicians received a wake-up call this Fall after Hurricane Sandy and all the other extreme weather events that have occurred over just the last few years. But no. Climate Change is still the one issue that our political discourse avoids like the plague. While other countries (and California, the one exception that proves the rule) forge ahead with investments in reducing carbon emissions and providing seed money to renewable energy technologies, the United States continues to dig ourselves deeper into the hole of reliance upon dirty energy. And a major reason for that is ALEC and all the other conservative organizations and think tanks that continue to lie and obscure the truth about our use of fossil fuels.
It’s no surprise that the Koch Brothers created ALEC, the stealth bomber of American politics. And they use it very effectively to promote laws that protect and advance their business interests in oil and gas, while trying to cut off any competition from cleaner sources of energy at the knees. The Kochs have billions invested in their dirty energy businesses, companies that routinely violate environmental laws and regulations while taking full advantage of the many subsidies the Federal government provides the oil and gas industry.
A Bloomberg Markets investigation has found that Koch Industries has a long history of being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East. Koch Industries units have also rigged prices with competitors, lied to regulators and repeatedly run afoul of environmental regulations, resulting in five criminal convictions since 1999 in the U.S. and Canada.
From 1999 through 2003, Koch Industries was assessed more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments. In December 1999, a civil jury found that Koch Industries had taken oil it didn’t pay for from federal land by mismeasuring the amount of crude it was extracting. Koch paid a $25 million settlement to the U.S.
Phil Dubose, a Koch employee who testified against the company, said he and his colleagues were shown by their managers how to steal and cheat, using techniques they called the Koch Method.
I would like to believe that Democrats, especially after the catastrophe caused by Hurricane Sandy, an extreme weather event more and more climate scientists are willing to link to climate change, would wake up and make this a critical issue. We certainly need leadership from the Democratic Party to preserve vital research and subsidies for renewable energy. May I suggest you contact your Democratic representatives in Congress and in local state houses across the country and send them a link to this story. Ask them what they plan to do about it. Do they really want to preserve the hundreds of billions of dollars of profits Big Oiil makes at the expense of the billions of dollars of damage caused by extreme weather events? After all our time to limit the damage done by man made climate change is running out even faster than we thought.
The work, published yesterday in Science, finds evidence that Earth’s climate is more sensitive to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than some earlier studies had suggested.
If the new results are correct, that means warming will come on faster, and be more intense, than many current predictions. Moreover, the impacts of that warming, including sea level rise, drought, floods and other extreme weather, could hit earlier and harder than many models project, said study co-author John Fasullo, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
“Temperatures are likely to go up to the high side of current projections, as is [atmospheric] water vapor,” he said. “To the extent those environmental impacts influence events like [Superstorm] Sandy, expect the impacts to be on the high side.”
If we don’t act to pressure our politicians, rest assured the ALEC agenda to make our country ever more dependent on the “products” produced by a few megacorporations will be put in place.