Americans for Tax Reform

Southeast leads in creating clean-energy manufacturing jobs, but will politicians kill the momentum?

Clean energy and clean transportation projects are helping drive the U.S. economic recovery, and green business is particularly booming in the Southeast.

But will politicians kill the momentum?

That’s the question raised by a report released last week by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), which found that in 2012 companies and communities nationwide announced more than 300 clean energy and clean transportation projects expected to create 110,000 jobs. E2 is a coalition of environmental-minded business leaders that’s affiliated with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

E2 map of green energy jobs createdThe Southeast led the country in manufacturing-related clean energy job announcements, E2 reported. There were more than 13,700 such jobs announced last year — about 80 percent of the nation’s total. Most of those were related to the solar, advanced vehicles and wind energy industries.

California led the nation in clean energy project announcements, followed by North Carolina and Florida. Texas was the other Southern state among the top 10.

Noting that state policies have helped drive the clean-energy industry’s growth, E2 Executive Director Judith Albert raised concerns about efforts to derail those policies.

“If lawmakers care about creating good, clean energy jobs in their neighborhoods, they should continue supporting those policies,” she said. “If not, they can sit back and watch these good-paying jobs go elsewhere.”

Albert pointed to efforts by groups and lobbyists backed by the fossil fuel industry to repeal state renewable energy portfolio standards (REPS), which require utilities to generate a certain percentage of power from clean sources.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an influential group that brings together state legislators and corporate representatives to draft model legislation promoting conservative policies, has launched an initiative to repeal REPS through its model “Electricity Freedom Act.” ALEC is working alongside other fossil fuel-funded groups including the Heartland Institute, the American Tradition Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and Americans for Tax Reform, and the Kansas REPS law was their first target.

In 2007, North Carolina became the first state in the Southeast to establish a REPS and is now one of 29 states with such laws. But state Rep. Mike Hager (R-Rutherford), chair of the House Public Utilities Committees and an ALEC member, has said he intends to introduce a bill during the legislative session now underway to repeal North Carolina’s law, which requires a modest 12.5 percent of all electricity sold in the state by 2025 to come from renewable sources.

It’s unclear how North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) would react if such a bill were to make its way to his desk. McCrory spent 28 years working for Duke Energy, which says it generally supports renewable energy standards as a way to “help our country transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.” McCrory continues to hold substantial investments in the company.

McCrory has also been supportive of the wind energy industry, promoting it as part of his “all of the above” energy policy.

“There is a lot of interest in North Carolina right now for clean energy,” said E2 member John Robbins, president of Greathorn Development Corporation in Concord, N.C., which is working with airports to cuts energy costs with solar power. “For all the right reasons, clean energy is growing in North Carolina — and it’s creating jobs and boosting our economy along the way.”

(For a larger version of the map from the E2 report, click here.)

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This article is written by Sue Sturgis and is published at http://www.southernstudies.org/2013/03/southeast-leads-in-creating-clean-energy-manufacturing-jobs-but-will-politicians-kill-the-mo

institute for southern studies

ALEC’s Tax Commandments

While most of the attention about ALEC has centered on guns, prisons, and voter ID, the goal of ALEC is much larger than that and much more pernicious.

Below is an introduction to another area where ALEC legislative members are implementing malicious ALEC “model legislation” – that is dangerous to the US and state governments – as we now know them.

2002

In a 2002 ALEC report titled “Crisis in State Spending: A Guide for State Legislators” and distributed to all ALEC members, the foreword ends with this:
More →

The New ‘New Right’ in Australia

Howard Guille reports on the ‘business plan’ of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA)

The political right has made effective use of think tanks and lobbying organisations like the Centre for Independent Studies and the Institute of Public Affairs. A body that wants to shift public discourse and policy even further to the right has now arrived.

The 31 page “business plan” of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) became available in early October. The organisation was launched on 1st May 2012 and aims, in its own words, to become ‘Australia’s leading and most influential centre-right (sic) grassroots advocacy body.’

In its own words, the ATA is not a “think tank”, but a “do tank”. It is a design for ‘an innovative grassroots activist body, dedicated to fighting Australia’s crippling levels of taxation, over-regulation, and government waste.’ It wants to ‘shift Australian political debate in a small government direction’ and ‘to transform Australia to a new level of free market public policies by focusing on cutting tax, regulation and waste.’…

The solutions are to reduce taxes, simplify the system including flatter taxes, reduce stifling regulation and oppose the “nanny state” and taxes and controls on “lifestyle choices”. The latter include restrictions on alcohol, tobacco and ‘fat taxes’.

The ATA also claims it will expose waste in public expenditure and try to establish ‘transparency’ in the spending of ‘taxpayer dollars’.

(editors note:  uh oh, is this starting to sound familiar?) More →

Turning State Legislatures into Brothels

VLTP Op Ed by Bob Sloan

The Corrosive Effect of the Koch/ALEC Cabal on U.S. and World Governments

In a perfect world, we as citizens in a representative democracy would elect those who best represent our views on issues critically important in our lives.  In the context of that perfect world, our elected  representatives would work tirelessly pursuing legislation that would benefit their constituents and thus earn the respect of voters and ensure their re-election.  In America, this IS the basis that formed the foundation of our government.  Unfortunately, we do not have a “perfect world” with regard to those who represent us, far from it.  Today, we elect those who will take office and then essentially sell their votes to corporations and special interests which are not allowed to vote for elected officials in our democracy, wealthy or powerful entities in whose interest it is to keep these captured legislators in office, term after term.  Many elected officials take office and ignore the needs of their constituents in favor of the desires of corporations or special interests, and often ignore requests for legislation beneficial to the community they are supposed to represent– until those constituents are needed in subsequent elections, and sometimes even then officials count on voters not being aware how they’ve been sold out.

Some ask: how this has come to pass?  Who is responsible for undermining our democracy and corrupting our elected representatives? More →

National Federation of Independent Business–great another member of the Cabal

The NFIB is currently the lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case NFIB v. Sebelius challenging President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform legislation in its entirety. The suit is being brought forward by the NFIB’s legal arm, the Small Business Legal Center. The NFIB legal arm’s advisory board includes Wendy Lee Gramm, who founded the Mercatus Center‘s Regulatory Studies Program at George Mason University and C. Boyden Gray, a former White House Counselor during the Bush Administration who helped found the Federalist Society. [19] Both the Mercatus Center and the Federalist Society are funded by the Koch Family Foundations.

The NFIB is a private-sector member of ALEC and has had representatives on the ALEC Civil Justice Task Force, Health and Human Services Task Force and Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force.

To read up on more about NFIB, please click here

There is also an excellent article from Brendan Fischer at PR Watch – Who is Bankrolling the Fight Against Obamacare, which you can read by clicking here that talks about NFIB.

And just check out the list of tags to this article.  These guys are involved with a lot of right wing Cabal organizations

ALEC Wants Lobbyists (And You) To Help Rearrange The Deck Chairs On The Titanic

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the corporate front group responsible for pushing voter ID and Stand Your Ground laws in states across the country, is on the run. Nearly two dozen major corporations (including Johnson & Johnson, yesterday) have been persuaded to cut ties with ALEC.

ALEC is fighting back — and the group recently launched a website to encourage not just people, but powerful corporations and lawmakers, to stand with them.

IStandWithALEC.com is apparently a project of Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The site also lists the Braynard Group as having “designed and develop” the website. This consulting firm is based in Arlington, Virginia; its online portfolio lists other astroturf projects it has worked on. In the past, it’s worked for corporate fronts like the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity and a “Stop eTaxes” website dedicated to protecting the Amazon tax loophole. Curiously, it has also worked for the Immigration Policy Center, which advocates for more lenient immigration policies, certainly not in line with the conservative ideology ALEC espouses.

To read this article about rats deserting a sinking ship–assuming that you buy into these “desertions” of ALEC, please click here

The Enemies Within: The 20 Most Dangerous Conservatives And Their Organizations

America has enemies. Not just abroad, but within our shores as well. And our domestic enemies, as it turns out, are MORE dangerous and destructive than the terrorists could ever hope to be. Because while the terrorists want to destroy us, the following people and their organizations are doing far more damage.

To read about these threats, please click here.

Clean-Energy Requirements Targeted by ALEC, Norquist

By Jim Snyder – Apr 23, 2012

Small-government groups including the American Legislative Exchange Council, whose advocacy for Florida’s Stand-Your-Ground law and other measures have drawn calls to revoke its tax-exempt status, are taking aim at state mandates requiring renewable energy use.

While environmentalists view the clean-energy standards as vital to reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, groups like ALEC and the Grover Norquist-run Americans for Tax Reform say the mandates are a hidden tax on consumers and a drag on state economies.

To read more about ALEC’s latest threat, please click here

One of our VLTP members has already mad a very appropriate comment:  “Always Remember —The British East India Company Never Dies …It Merely Changes Its PR Firm …”