Greenpeace letter to NiSource regarding American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

warning: file_get_contents(https://...@catalystinternet.com:L!thiweb@www.documentcloud.org/api/documents/Greenpeace letter to NiSource regarding American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).json): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found in /mnt/www/polluterwatch/sites/all/themes/default/node-document.tpl.php on line 17.

Greenpeace letter to NiSource regarding American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

Robert C. Skaggs, Jr., President and CEO

Carrie J. Hightman, Executive VP and Chief Legal Officer

Glen L. Kettering, Senior VP of Corporate Affairs

February 20, 2014

Dear Mr. Bob Skaggs, Ms. Carrie Hightman and Mr. Glen Kettering,

We are writing to express our concern for the extensive support provided by NiSource to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and request NiSource disassociate and stop funding ALEC immediately.

ALEC has become increasingly controversial for distributing “Stand Your Ground” state legislation and establishing policy roadblocks for legitimate voters.[i] ALEC’s aggressive anti-environmental positions have made headlines, including a poorly-received characterization of rooftop solar panel owners as “freeriders” for not paying fees to utilities when feeding excess generated electricity into the grid.[ii]

ALEC’s controversial policies are crafted through a questionable process. The lobbyists and state lawmakers in ALEC task forces meet without public accountability. A precarious relationship with federal lobbying laws has now prompted ALEC to create a 501c4 sister organization to avoid potential actions from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. This is verified by notes provided to ALEC’s board of directors, composed of state legislators.[iii]

NiSource has been a documented member of ALEC’s Energy, Environment and Agriculture task force. The policies produced by this task force include attacks on renewable portfolio standards, interference with federal efforts to reduce pollution and consistent opposition to limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

ALEC has been at this a long time: notes circulated to attendees of a 1998 meeting at the American Petroleum Institute name ALEC among organizations enlisted to block national and international climate policies by undermining the American public’s understanding of climate science.[iv]

ALEC’s unfolding history against climate and clean energy policies doesn’t reflect statements published in NiSource’s 2013 annual report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which states concern that “climate change may exacerbate the risks to physical infrastructure associated with heat and extreme weather conditions.”[v]

NiSource puts net-metering expansion at the center of its renewable energy development, the laws that ALEC just created a model resolution to weaken.[vi]

If NiSource has already disassociated itself with ALEC, we request confirmation. If ALEC continues to receive support or membership dues from NiSource, we request that NiSource discontinue such a relationship to ensure its own stated role in climate change efforts are not undermined.

I anticipate your response and I’m happy to provide any clarification or additional resources informing our concerns upon request.

 

Sincerely,

Gabe Wisniewski

Energy Campaign Director

Greenpeace USA



References:

 

[i] Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, “ALEC facing funding crisis from donor exodus in wake of Trayvon Martin row,” The Guardian, 12/3/2013

Ethan Magoc, “Flurry of Photo ID Laws Tied to Conservative Washington Group,” News21, August 12, 2012

[ii] Suzanne Goldenberg and Ed Pilkington, “ALEC calls for penalties on 'freerider' homeowners in assault on clean energy,” The Guardian, 12/4/2013

[iii] Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, “ALEC facing funding crisis from donor exodus in wake of Trayvon Martin row,” The Guardian, 12/3/2013

[iv] Joe Walker, “Draft Global Climate Science Communications Plan,” email to members of the Global Climate Science Team convened by the American Petroleum Institute. See also New York Times: “Industrial Group Plans to Battle Climate Treaty,” 4/26/1998

[v] NiSource 2012 10-K filing, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

[vi]Renewable Energy Development,” NiSource website, accessed Feb. 2014

Ibid Goldenberg and Pilkington, 12/4/2013

 



Connect

Keep In Touch

FacebookTwitterYouTubePolluterWatch RSS


Sign up for
POLLUTERWATCH News