EPA administrator Gina McCarthy. Photograph: Gary Cameron/Reuters
- Corporate lobbying network plans to draft bills attacking protections
- Bills will reportedly aim to expand offshore oil drilling and cut EPA budget
Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
Tuesday 2 December 2014 16.47 EST
The corporate lobbying network American Legislative Exchange Council, commonly known as Alec, is planning a new onslaught on a number of environmental protections next year when Republicans take control of Congress and a number of state legislatures.
The battle lines of Alec’s newest attack on environmental and climate measures will be formally unveiled on Wednesday, when the group begins three days of meetings in Washington DC.
Alec, described by its opponents as a corporate bill mill, has suffered an exodus of tech companies from its ranks recently because of its extreme positions – especially its promotion of climate denial.
Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and Yelp have all left Alec. Google flatly accused Alec of lying about climate change, when it severed its connections with the group last September.
Despite the setbacks, Alec remains focused on pushing back government regulation and blocking efforts to fight climate change in 2015, according to documents posted on its website in preparation for Wednesday’s gathering.
On the agenda for its environment and energy task force are draft model bills that will seek to disband the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), expand offshore oil drilling, and weaken environmental protections for smog and other air pollutants, as well as roll back protections for endangered species.
The top priority appears to be rolling back the main pillar of Obama’s climate action plan: new rules to limit carbon pollution from power plants now being rolled out by the EPA.