Five Climate Questions We’d Love to see ALEC try to Answer

by Connor Gibson

October 21, 2014

Written by Kert Davies – former Research Director of Greenpeace USA – crossposted with permission from Climate Investigations Center: Five Questions on Climate Change for Lisa Nelson, ALEC CEO.

Five questions reporters might ask Lisa Nelson, ALEC CEO on climate change and energy:

1. YOUR PERSONAL UNDERSTANDING OF CLIMATE SCIENCE?

Lisa Nelson, you stated recently that you dont know the science of climate change.

Q: What is your plan to further inform yourself on climate change?

Q: What sources of information will you be seeking and what questions about the science of climate change are you seeking to answer first?

Note: Nelson answered to National Journal Idon’t know the science on that” when asked specifically whether human emissions are the primary driver of climate change.

2. ALECs POSITION ON CLIMATE CHANGE?

Q: Will you be seeking advise and counsel from ALECs Board of Directors, Private Enterprise Advisory Council, Board of Scholars or Private Sector Members to clarify ALECs position on climate change in the wake of Google and other recent corporate departures?

Notes: ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling was recently quoted saying ALEC doesn’t have a position on climate science anymore than a policy jelly beans, a strange analogy for a crucial issue of our times.

Lisa Nelson said on Diane Rehm: To be clear: ALEC has no policy on climate change, and does not take positions without underlying model policy.”

Yet the organization’s September 24th letter to Google stated ALEC Recognizes that climate change is an important issue…

However, the ALECwebsite is more direct yet equivocal on the scientific basis:

Global Climate Change is Inevitable. Climate change is a historical phenomenon and the debate will continue on the significance of natural and anthropogenic contributions.

Which is it?

3. ALEC SPONSORS CONTROL OF MEETING AGENDA?

There are many events (luncheons, workshops, etc.) held during ALEC conferences.

Q: How much control do sponsors have over session topics and speaker selection? Have the Heartland Institute or CFACT indeed paid ALEC to hold sessions about climate change during your meetings? Or did ALEC request that they hold these briefings?

4. BALANCED EXCHANGE ON CLIMATE SCIENCE?

ALEC stated in its September 24thLetter to Google that it just hosted a roundtable conversation for a variety of companiesincluding Googleon this very issue.

Q: Will you provide evidence of this roundtable and what companies were present?

Note: There was a Google presentation within theEnergy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force session of the July annual meeting, but specifically on the subject of Google’s renewable energy goals, not climate change.

5. ALEC OPPOSITION TO SUBSIDIES FOR FOSSIL FUELS AND NUCLEAR ENERGY?

ALEC maintains positions against government mandates and subsidies which backstop the organizations opposition to renewable energy targets.

Q: Given ALECs emphasis on free markets and subsidies, does the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force plan to pass model legislation limiting fossil fuel and nuclear energy subsidies and corporate welfare?

Connor Gibson

By Connor Gibson

Connor Gibson does research for Greenpeace's Investigations team. He focuses on polluting industries, their front groups and PR operatives, particularly focusing on the Koch Brothers.

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