This evening, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Nevada is hosting a townhall with Attorney General Adam Laxalt against the EPA’s latest water regulations. Considered their main political arm, the Kochs regularly tap AFP for campaigning and messaging on their long-standing push against the EPA. More than a year ago, the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and their climate change-denying allies joined together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to fight against new environmental regulations.
According to the New York Times, with the help of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, ALEC and friends are enlisting state governors and attorneys general, including Laxalt, and “urging them to refuse to submit compliance plans for the regulations and encouraging a state-by-state rejection of the rules.” ALEC also presented a piece of model legislation at their July conference that is “designed to directly support state attorneys general who legally challenge the climate change plan.”
The Kochs have tapped ALEC to work against climate change agreements repeatedly. The Los Angeles Times reported that in 2011, “legislators in Montana, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington introduced legislation with nearly identical language demanding their states pull out of the Western Climate Initiative, which focuses on fighting global warming. The model text they used is an ALEC document called State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives. Lawmakers in Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire took similar steps to abandon their regional accords.” In total 13 states “passed resolutions based on [ALEC’s] model language” that year, according to ProPublica.
But this time the Kochs’ extreme anti-climate change initiative has gone too far. On Friday, Shell Oil announced that they will not renew their membership with ALEC, citing differences over “its stance on climate change,” according to the Washington Post.
Koch Industries is one of the “top ten air polluters in the United States” and has been called the “kingpin of climate science denial.” Over the years, the Kochs have even out spent ExxonMobil “in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change.” Shell is only the latest addition to a laundry list of companies who have dropped ALEC for its extreme positions — AOL, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, and more have done so — but every company that says “enough” to ALEC only solidifies Koch control over the bill mill, ensuring that ALEC will continue to pass legislation that benefits Koch Industries’ bottom line. While the Koch brothers won’t stop fighting rules against polluting our air and water until they’ve made their last cent, they may soon be alone in their greed-driven crusade.