While some fossil fuel companies claim they support renewable energy, actions behind the scenes tell a different story. Many are backing front groups to create barriers for the deployment of renewables. These front groups serve as a critical component, adding a supposed "independent" voice to state energy policy debates.
Sen. Whitehouse likened their actions to those of the tobacco companies that conspired to manufacture doubt about the link between smoking and disease when they were all too aware of it. In 2006, a federal district court ruled that the tobacco industry's deceptive campaign to maximize its profits by hoodwinking the public amounted to a racketeering enterprise.
If ALEC were an honest broker, it would recommend market-based solutions, like the Republican-inspired, acid rain cap-and-trade program championed by President George H.W. Bush. But that's not likely going to happen, because doing so would alienate its fossil fuel industry and trade association members.
As the onslaught of the nation's fast-growing coal-mining boom tears across the heartland, citizens in southern Illinois have filed a Writ of Mandamus in Federal District Court against the US Secretary of Interior, in an attempt to revoke the state's control over its notoriously inept and rogue mining agencies.