American Legislative Exchange Council

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)


The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is an organization designed to link state legislators with corporations and create templates for state legislation. Some corporations ALEC has worked with include Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, Peabody Energy, and Reynolds Tobacco

ALEC describes its mission as to “advance limited government, free markets, and federalism at the state level through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public.” [2]

An investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy hosted at offers the following description of the organization: 

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve 'model' bills.

They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills.” [1]

ALEC maintains “Task Forces” in the following areas: [3]

  • Civil Justice
  • Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development
  • Communications and Technology
  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Energy, Environment and Agriculture
  • Federalism and International Relations
  • Health and Human Services
  • Justice Performance Project
  • Tax and Fiscal Policy
  • *Public Safety and Elections task force (since disbanded[4]

A Brookings Institution study looked at a sample of 132 ALEC model bills that were introduced during the 2012 legislative season. Republicans sponsored over 90 percent of them. Their study found that the ALEC bills’ likelihood of passing was “strikingly high compared to the dismal rate at which all other bills are enacted into law.” [5]

In 2013, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) found at least 77 ALEC bills that year opposing renewable energy standards, supporting fracking and the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, or otherwise undermining environmental laws. [54]

ALEC also has a history of working with tobacco companies, and has helped provide tobacco-industry representatives face-to-face access to federal elected officials. [6]

Stance on Climate Change

ALEC has released an official position statement on renewables and climate change: [7]

Climate change is a historical phenomenon and the debate will continue on the significance of natural and anthropogenic contributions. ALEC will continue to monitor the issue and support the use of sound science to guide policy, but ALEC will also incorporate economic and political realism. Unilateral efforts by the United States or regions within the United States will not significantly decrease carbon emissions globally, and international efforts to decrease emissions have proven politically infeasible and unenforceable. Policymakers in most cases are not willing to inflict economic harm on their citizens with no real benefit. ALEC discourages impractical visionary goals that ignore economic reality, and that will not be met without serious consequences for worldwide standard of living.

The following is taken from ALEC's model bill for “Energy Principles” (PDF):

Global Climate Change is Inevitable. Climate change is a historical phenomenon and the debate will continue on the significance of natural and anthropogenic contributions. ALEC will continue to monitor the issue and support the use of sound science. Regardless, the economy is becoming more energy efficient. Each year we emit less carbon dioxide per dollar of economic output. In fact, carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of GDP declined 41.3 percent between 1981 and 2005. This impressive improvement has taken place without greenhouse gas emissions regulations or taxes. [8]

Sandy Liddy Bourne, representing ALEC, said in 2004: “Carbon dioxide, the inescapable by-product of burning fossil fuels, is beneficial to plant and human life alike. The effort to regulate it as a greenhouse gas is an attempt to tax energy.” [9]

After Google parted ways with ALEC due to its inaction on climate change, the group refuted allegations that it denies climate change, saying: “ALEC recognizes that climate change is an important issue,” and “no ALEC model policy denies climate change.”  [10], [11]

ALEC Conferences

ALEC hosts conferences three times a year where they frequently invite prominent climate change skeptics.

Here are a few samples highlighted by, a joint project of the Centre for Media and Democracy, Forecast the Facts, and the Energy and Public Policy Institute: [48]

  • Joe Bast: “There is no scientific consensus on the human role in climate change.” ALEC Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas August, 2014

  • Craig Idso:CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a benefit. It is the very elixir of life.” ALEC Conference, December 2014 

  • Marc Morano: “The idea that there is a “scientific consensus” [on climate change] does not hold up.” ALEC Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas August, 2014

  • Christopher Monckton: “The science [of climate change] is bad, the consensus is wrong.” ALEC Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia July, 2009

  • Lisa Nelson (ALEC CEO): Asked if she accepts CO2 emissions are the primary driver of climate change: “I don't know the science on that.” Interview with National Journal, published October 2, 2014.

  • Phil King (ALEC Board member): “I think the global warming theory is bad science.” TX House of Representatives Website, January, 2007.

  • John Piscopo (ALEC Board member): “The public has been hoodwinked…I have serious doubts about whether [climate change] is man made.” Connecticut Post, March, 2010.


The Centre for Media and Democracy (CMD) notes that since the 2011 launch of the website, many corporations have left and publicly distanced themselves from ALEC, including General Motors, Walgreens, Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart, Amazon, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and GE.  [4]
Since CMD launched their ALEC Exposed investigation in 2011, 108 corporations and 19 non-profits have left ALEC, including BP, Shell, Visa, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, McDonald's, and Google (now Alphabet). Documents obtained by CMD found that ALEC had received at least $504,700 from Koch Industries between 1995 and 1998, adding up to nearly $1 million from Koch-Controlled Foundations between 1998 and 2012. CMD additionally found that the tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris/Altria gave ALEC $1,426,700 between 1995 and 2010. [56], [61]
While ALEC does not publicly disclose its funding sources, the Conservative Transparency project was able to collect information from publicly-available 990 forms. Note that not all of the following funding values have been verified by DeSmogBlog for accuracy.

See the attached spreadsheet for additional information on ALEC funding by year (.xlsx). [57]

ALEC as Recipient

Allegheny Foundation $1,870,000
Exxon Mobil $1,534,700
PhRMA $993,217
Searle Freedom Trust $820,000
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation $720,000
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation $700,598
Castle Rock Foundation $650,000
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation $573,000
Jaquelin Hume Foundation $270,000
Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice $248,000
John M. Olin Foundation $215,000
Donors Capital Fund $178,000
JM Foundation $135,000
American Petroleum Institute $88,000
The Randolph Foundation $75,000
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation $75,000
CIGNA Foundation $55,000
Scaife Family Foundation $50,000
Armstrong Foundation $45,000
The Roe Foundation $29,500
The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation $28,500
DonorsTrust $25,000
eBay $12,000 $10,000
Joyce and Donald Rumsfeld Foundation $7,000
The Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation $7,000
Grand Total $9,414,515

ALEC as Donor

State Policy Network  
2012 $10,000
2013 $5,000
2013 $12,500
Grand Total $27,500

ExxonMobil Funding

According to data from Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets, ALEC has received $1,619,700 from ExxonMobil since 1998[12]

Koch Funding

Greenpeace investigations notes that ALEC received $525,858 from Koch foundations between 2005 and 2011, with a grand total of $858,858 from Koch foundations between 1997 and 2011[13]

Alpha Natural Resources Creditor

Alpha Natural Resources, one of the largest coal companies in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy in August of 2015. The American Legislative Exchange Council was among the Alpha Natural Resources creditors revealed in the bankruptcy documents. Others included organizations active in climate change denial such as the Heartland Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Energy & Environmental Legal Institute (E&E Legal). [60]

Nonprofit Status

While ALEC is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the IRS, making donations tax-deductible, Common Cause, Clergy Voice, the Voters Legislative Transparency Project, and the Center for Media and Democracy/Progressive Inc. (CMD) have alleged that ALEC repeatedly violated federal law and should have its nonprofit status revoked. [56]
In 2013, ALEC began adding a disclaimer to the bottom of all its documents stating: “Because this is an internal ALEC document, ALEC believes it is not subject to disclosure under any state Freedom of Information or Public Records Act,” which CMD speculated could be an attempt to sidestep state public records laws. [4]
ALEC dropped this disclaimer after CMD's successful open records lawsuit against its national board member and Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir.  [55]
“The case shows that legislators who deny open records requests and seek refuge behind improbable claims of immunity will be held accountable by the public, the media and the legal system,” said Brendan Fischer, General Counsel for the Center for Media and Democracy.

990 Forms


Key People

Board Members

As of August, 2015, ALEC's Board of Directors listed the following: [14]

Board of Scholars

As of August 6, 2015, ALEC's Board of Scholars included: [16]

Private Enterprise Advisory Council

ALEC provides a disclaimer on their Private Enterprise Advisory Council page: [17]

ALEC provides a forum to facilitate the exchange of policy ideas from a variety of perspectives. ALEC model policy and resolutions are developed by ALEC members and may or may not reflect the positions of any individual member, company, association, or non-profit.”

As of August, 2015, ALEC's Private Enterprise Advisory Council included the following members:


As of August, 2015, ALEC staff included the following: [19]
  • Lisa B. Nelson — Chief Executive Officer, former lobbyist for VISA and AOL Time Warner. Also worked for Newt Gingrich and GOPAC.  [20], [21]
  • Amy Kjose Anderson — Director, Task Force on Civil Justice
  • Michael Bowman — Vice President, Policy and Strategic Initiatives
  • Bartlett Cleland —  Director, Task Force on Communications and Technology/ Vice President, Center for Innovation and Technology
  • Seth Cooper —  Amicus Counsel 
  • John Eick — Director, Task Force on Energy, Environment, and Agriculture
  • William Freeland —  Research Analyst, Task Force on Tax and Fiscal Policy
  • Jonathon Hauenschild —  Legislative Analyst
  • Brian Hawkins —  Policy Coordinator
  • Michael Hough —  Director, Task Force on Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development and Justice Performance Project
  • Karla Jones —  Director, Task Force on International and Federal Relations
  • Theodore Lafferty —  Legal Research Analyst, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
  • Jon Russell —  Director, American City County Exchange
  • Lindsay Russell — Director, Task Force on Education
  • Kati Siconolfi — Legislative Manager, Task Force on Tax and Fiscal Policy
  • Daniel Turner —  Legislative Analyst
  • Jonathan Williams — Vice President, Center for State Fiscal Reform / Director, Task Force on Tax and Fiscal Policy
  • Ben Wilterdink — Research Manager, Task Force on Tax and Fiscal Policy
  • Bill Meierling — Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
  • Christine Phipps — Director, Art and Creative
  • Ashley Varner —  Director, Strategic Communications
  • Molly Fuhs — Director, Media and Public Relations
  • Shana Sally — Coordinator, Media and Public Affairs
  • Rek LeCounte —  Manager, Digital Media
  • Jeff Lambert — Vice President, Membership and Development
  • Sarah McManamon —  Director, Events
  • Marie Vulaj —  Director, Nonprofit and Corporate Relations
  • Laurel Buckley —  Director, Development and Midwestern Relations
  • Courtney Cook — Coordinator, Events
  • Spencer Chretien — Coordinator, Membership Services
  • Alex McGee — Development Coordinator
  • Lisa Bowen — Vice President, Finance and Administration
  • Genneya Briscoe —  Manager, Finance and Administration
  • Jose ‘Pepe’ Fernandez — Office Manager
  • Jimmy Wall — Executive Assistant to the CEO

Other People

Past Board Members

As of January, 2012, ALEC listed the following names on their “Board of Directors”: [22]

Past Board of Scholars

As of January, 2012, the Board of Scholars listed the following: [23]

Past Staff

As of January, 2012, key staff included: [24]

  • Ron Scheberle — Executive Director since January, 2010.
  • Michael Bowman — Senior Director, Policy and Strategic Initiatives.
  • Meaghan Archer — Research Analyst, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force.
  • Seth Cooper — Amicus Counsel.
  • Christine Harbin — Research Manager, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force.
  • Christie Herrera — Director, Health and Human Services Task Force.
  • Michael HoughALEC Resident Fellow, Public Safety.
  • Karla Jones — Director, International and Federal Relations.
  • Amy Kjose — Director, Civil Justice Task Force.
  • Stephanie Linn — Policy and Intern Manager.
  • David Myslinski — Director, Education Task Force.
  • Courtney O’Brien — Director, Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development & Public Safety and Elections Task Forces.
  • Sean Riley — Legislative Analyst, Health and Human Services Task Force.
  • Kati Siconolfi — Legislative Analyst, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force.
  • John Stephenson — Director, Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force.
  • Cara Sullivan — Legislative Analyst, Public Safety and Elections Task Force.
  • Kailee Tkacz — Research Analyst, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force.
  • Bryan Weynand — Legislative Analyst, Civil Justice & Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Forces.
  • Jonathan Williams — Director, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force.
  • Todd Wynn — Director, Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force.

Past Private Enterprise Board

As of January, 2012, the Private Enterprise Board included: [25]

  • W. Preston Baldwin — (National Chairman) Centerpoint360.
  • Sandra Oliver — (First Vice Chairman) Bayer Corp.
  • John Del Giorno — (Second Vice Chairman) GlaxoSmithKline.
  • David Powers — (Treasurer) Reynolds American.
  • Maggie Sans — (Secretary) Wal-Mart Stores.
  • Jerry Watson — (Chairman Emeritus)
  • Sano Blocker — Energy Future Holdings.
  • Don Bohn — Johnson & Johnson.
  • Jeffrey Bond — PhRMA.
  • William Carmichael — American Bail Coalition.
  • Derek Crawford — Kraft Foods, Inc.
  • Robert Jones — Pfizer Inc.
  • Teresa Jennings — Reed Elsevier, Inc.
  • Kenneth LaneDIAGEO.
  • Bill Leahy AT&T.
  • Kelly Mader — Peabody Energy.
  • Richard McArdle UPS.
  • Mike Morgan Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC.
  • Gene Rackley — Coca-Cola Refreshments.
  • Daniel Smith — Altria Client Services.
  • Randy SmithExxonMobil Corporation.
  • Russell Smoldon — Salt River Project.
  • Roland Spies — State Farm Insurance Co.

Media Coverage on ALEC

May 21 2015 edition of WXIA-TV's 11 Alive News Tonight

11 Alive investigators examined ALEC's status as a nonprofit versus what former a ALEC member describes as a “corporate bill mill.” Video below. [46], [47]

United States of ALEC — A Viewers Guide (June, 2014)

The Moyers and Company television program aired on public television stations, relying heavily on research by the Center for Media and Democracy's ALEC Exposed project, as well as first-hand interviews. [49], [50]

Video below. (View transcript here). 

United States of ALEC: A Follow-Up from on Vimeo.


June 13, 2016

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD/PRWatch) reports the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was named as a creditor in Peabody Energy's recent bankruptcy filings.  Additionally, the documents list funding a number of ALEC events including the following: [63]

  • ALEC Arkansas State Scholarship Fund
  • ALEC Colorado State Scholarship Fund
  • ALEC Illinois State Scholarship Fund
  • ALEC Indiana State Scholarship Fund
  • ALEC Missouri State Scholarship Fund
  • ALEC Montana State Scholarship Fund
  • ALEC New Mexico State Scholarship Fund
  • ALEC Scholarship Fund-Arizona
  • ALEC Texas State Scholarship
  • ALEC Wyoming Scholarship Fund
  • ALEC-MO Night

While the available bankruptcy documents do not list the scale or dates of funding, they outline Peabody Energy's financial ties to a large network of groups promoting climate change denial. [64]

Prominent individuals appearing in the documents include climate deniers Willie SoonRichard LindzenRoy Spencer and Richard Berman. The long list of organizations also includes groups such as Americans for ProsperityAmerican Legislative Exchange CouncilCFACTInstitute for Energy ResearchState Policy Network, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more. [65]

The Guardian also analysed and reported on the Peabody bankruptcy findings: [66]

These groups collectively are the heart and soul of climate denial,” said Kert Davies, founder of the Climate Investigation Center, who has spent 20 years tracking funding for climate denial. “It’s the broadest list I have seen of one company funding so many nodes in the denial machine.”

The company’s filings reveal funding for a range of organisations which have fought Barack Obama’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and denied the very existence of climate change. […]

Among Peabody’s beneficiaries, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change has insisted – wrongly – that carbon emissions are not a threat but “the elixir of life” while the American Legislative Exchange Council is trying to overturn Environmental Protection Agency rules cutting emissions from power plants. Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity campaigns against carbon pricing. The Oklahoma chapter was on the list. […]

The breadth of the groups with financial ties to Peabody is extraordinary. Thinktanks, litigation groups, climate scientists, political organisations, dozens of organisations blocking action on climate all receiving funding from the coal industry,” said Nick Surgey, director of research for the Center for Media and Democracy.

We expected to see some denial money, but it looks like Peabody is the treasury for a very substantial part of the climate denial movement.”

Notable organizations listed in the initial documents include:

Notable individuals named in the initial documents include the following:

June, 2016

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was among organizations named in a Massachusetts subpoena looking for communications between ExxonMobil and organizations denying climate change, reports The Washington Times. [67]

Organizations named in the Massachusetts subpoena include the following: [67]

This latest inquiry by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is one in a series of investigations into what ExxonMobil knew about climate change and when, started by a coalition of attorneys general in the US. [68]

March 24, 2016

The Sierra Club Virginia Chapter and Center for Media and Democracy released a report detailing ALEC's attempts to delay action on climate change in Virginia. The report, AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL (ALEC) EXPOSED: Corporate Polluters Undermining Clean Power in Virginia” (PDF) details how ALEC and its political allies have worked to combat state climate and clean energy policy. [58], [59]

The report focuses on ALEC's attempts to stop the Clean Power Plan, which set out to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 32% over 2005 levels. [58]

“I was pleased that during the 2016 General Assembly session we were able—at least so far—to fend off ALEC’s attempt to derail Virginia’s plan to curb emissions and comply with the Clean Power Plan,” said Virginia Delegate Rip Sullivan (D-48). “It is disappointing and troubling, though, that ALEC-inspired HB2 and SB21 passed the General Assembly–thankfully not by veto-proof majorities.  Virginia should be leading the way on clean energy, but sadly, we lag far behind.  I will continue to work hard to push for meaningful progress, moving Virginia toward a new clean energy economy.”[58]

Seth Heald, chair of the Seirra Club Virginia Chapter, notes that corporations “simply cannot be serious about reducing carbon pollution and addressing climate change while also supporting ALEC.” [58]

August, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell announced it would sever ties with ALEC due to the group's “continued denial of the science of climate change,” The Guardian reported.
Shell released a statement, saying that “Alec advocates for specific economic growth initiatives, but its stance on climate change is clearly inconsistent with our own.” [26]
In a previous interview with the Guardian in May, a Shell spokesman said: “We have long recognized both the importance of the climate challenge and the critical role energy has in determining quality of life for people across the world. As part of an ongoing review of memberships and affiliations, we will be letting our association with Alec lapse when the current contracted term ends early next year.” [27]
Shell isn't the first oil company to sever its ALEC ties. British Petroleum (BP) also joined the list of companies leaving ALEC's ranks, severing ties in May 2015.  Other companies to leave ALEC since 2014 include Google, Yahoo, Facebook, eBay and Yelp — all in the face of criticism over ALEC's climate change views.
BP’s exit came a few months after Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) announced it would depart from ALEC, and a year after ConocoPhillips, an American multinational energy corporation, did the same. Shell is the fourth to leave ALEC. [28]
July, 2015
At a July 2015 meeting in San Diego, ALEC’s energy committee — which includes Mr. Mike Duncan, the president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (One of the nation's top coal lobbying groups) — enacted a model bill designed to directly support state attorneys general who legally challenge President Obama's climate change plan. 
The bill would allow states to create funds, which could be funded by corporate donations, to support legal challenges to the climate change rules. In early 2014, shortly after Obama announced regulations at the White House, West Virginia’s attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, announced that a group of at least 15 Republican state attorneys general were preparing a joint legal challenge to the proposal. 
Opposition at the time came from a group headed in part by Roger R. Martella Jr., a top environmental official in the George W. Bush administration, and Peter Glaser, a prominent Washington lobbyist, as reported by the New York Times. The NY Times describes ALEC as an “Important Ally in the effort.” [29]
May 13, 2015
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and Common Cause filed an 18-page supplemental complaint to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calling for the termination of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)'s status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and requesting civil and criminal charges be brought against ALEC. [43]
The complaint included more than 220 pages of evidence demonstrating how ALEC operates more like a “corporate bill mill” than it does a 501(c)(3) organization. It was an update to an original complaint that Common Cause made in 2012, as well as a 2013 supplement added by CMD and Common Cause. [44]
Among the exhibits cited in the supplement are examples of corporations themselves admitting that ALEC serves as a useful lobbying tool. Those on the list of corporations include Chevron, BP, ExxonMobil, Duke Energy and Peabody Energy.
The IRS supplemental complaint also points to a Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board investigation published in February 2015 concluding that ALEC's “primary purpose” is to bring together legislators and lobbyists. [45]
May, 2015
As reported by the Center for Media and Democracy's (CMDPR Watch, ALEC's 2015 annual meeting was supported primarily by energy companies and their supporters. [30]
Of the 54 identified corporate sponsors, twenty-two are energy related firms, their front groups, or firms representing energy interests. 
On the agenda of ALEC's closed-door Energy, Environment, and Agriculture task force meeting is a model “Environmental Impact Litigation Act” that would allow companies to pay into a fund for the state to sue against environmental laws including the Clean Air Act. 
The CMD listed financial underwriters of the ALEC event as the following (*Asterisks indicating membership on ALEC’s corporate board of directors):
President's Level - $100,000
Chair's Level - $50,000
Vice Chair's Level - $25,000
Director's Level - $10,000
Trustee's Level - $5,000
  • Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR)
  • Capelo Law Firm
  • Devon Energy
  • FedEx
  • The Graydon Group LLC
  • Bright House Media Strategies
  • Piedmont Natural Gas
  • Renovate America
  • Sunovion Pharmaceuticals
  • Tenaska Capital Management
  • Texas Alliance of Energy Producers
  • Texas Cable Association
  • Texas Medical Association
  • Texas Association of Builders
  • Texas Business Roundtable
  • Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA)
  • Texans for Lawsuit Reform
  • The Schlueter Group
  • Texas Strategy Group
  • Texas Star Alliance Energy Solutions

April, 2015

Shortly after the loss of a number of high-profile sponsors, ALEC threatened legal action against groups that had accused it of denying climate change. 

Attorneys for ALEC sent letters to Common Cause and the League of Conservation Voters asking them to immediately “cease making false statements” and “remove all false or misleading material” suggesting that ALEC does not believe in global warming, reports The Washington Post.  [31]
While ALEC claims not to deny climate change, and says they will be making efforts to be more transparent and welcoming to divergent views, environmental groups still question the group's commitment:
“We don’t think ALEC or organizations like it are done attacking progress on climate change,” said Kert Davies, an environmental activist running the nonprofit Climate Investigations Center. “It is hard to imagine these organizations turning a corner and suddenly being open to an honest discussion of real environmental policy.”

March, 2014

The Center for Media and Democracy's (CMD) obtained an internal tracking document from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), dated March 2014 (See .xls spreadsheet), that revealed ALEC tracking 131 bills that “amongst other things, roll back state renewable energy standards, increase costs for American households with solar, hype the Keystone XL pipeline, push back on proposed EPA coal regulations that protect human health, and create industry-friendly fracking rules despite growing national and international concerns about fracking.” [52]

June, 2013

The Center for Media and Democracy's (CMDPR Watch reports that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) adopted a “model” bill that would fight against regional low-carbon fuel standards (LCFS) in the states. [51]

CMD reports that the model bill, called “Restrictions on Participation in Low-Carbon Fuel Standards Programs,” was sponsored at a November, 2012 ALEC conference in Washington by Steve Higley, a lobbyist from the U.S.-based industry group American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). AFPM includes members from both Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, who are also represented on ALEC's Private Enterprise Advisory Council. 

April, 2013

Huffington Post reports how Chevron and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) worked together to oppose the 1973 Endangered Species Act, and its supposed challenges to energy developers. [53]

Chevron sponsored a workshop as part of ALEC's policy summit in Washington, D.C. that covered how the law “often negatively impacts and stifles energy development of all kinds,” according to a planning document (PDF).

July 13, 2011

The Center for Media Democracy (CMD) and The Nation published a leaked file that revealed over 800 examples of ALEC's model legislation. The Nation attributes the leak to Aliya Rahman, an Ohio-based activist who helped organize protests at ALEC’s Spring Task Force meeting in Cincinnati. [32]

CMD now hosts the website “ALEC Exposed” which houses examples of ALEC's model legislation previously unavailable to the public. The website also provides tools to track politicians, corporations, and bills with ties to ALEC

The Nation devoted a special edition of their magazine to the breaking story, and included the following articles published in the August 1-8 edition of the magazine, and online on July 12, 2011:

Around the same time, the Los Angeles Times reported that government watchdog Common Cause was challenging ALEC's nonprofit status, arguing “it spends most of its resources lobbying, in violation of the rules governing nonprofit organizations.” [33]

ALEC responded with accusations that “Common Cause has distorted the facts, concealed critical details, and apparently attempted to mislead the news media and the public.” [34] reports that the 23 companies represented on ALEC's private enterprise board spent large amounts lobbying the government on health and environmental measures such as bills that would block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. [35]

June, 2011

ALEC orchestrated opposition against EPA regulations on greenhouse gasses with their model legislation, “Resolution in Opposition to EPA's Plan to Regulate Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act.”

The model legislation opposes “EPA's endangerment finding and any regulation of greenhouse gases, citing the massive economic burden that would result and the global nature of climate emissions.”

ALEC says it will “continue to support the efforts of state legislatures in resisting the EPA’s regulatory agenda” and “urges Congress to take the concerns of these states seriously and stop this regulatory train wreck in order to avoid the enormous negative impacts the EPA’s overreaching regulations will have.” [36]

ALEC also offers a document titled “EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck: Strategies for State Legislators” that “outlines best practices for state legislators (including following the many states that are considering resolutions in 2011 to call for Congress to slow and stop this regulatory onslaught [by the EPA]).”

ALEC has published materials downplaying the risks of global warming before, including “Climate Change Overview for State Legislators” (PDF) written by Daniel Simmons, previously associated with the Mercatus Institute (an organization founded and funded by Koch Industries).  

September, 2010

Clint Woods of ALEC said that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and other cap-and-trade greenhouse gas reduction plans would become the “new battlefield” after federal climate legislation fell through. [37]

April 23, 2010

ALEC Drafted a resolution (PDF) resisting the EPA's efforts to classify coal ash as a hazardous material. [38]

Coal ash contains known neurotoxins and carcinogens such as arsenic, lead, and mercury. [39]


ALEC drafted a resolution (PDF) designed to limit federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. [40]

January, 2004

ALEC launched opposition to “Son of Kyoto” legislation across the country.

“States should reject every form of Kyoto legislation for the very same reasons as our leaders in Washington, D.C.,” said Alexandra Liddy Bourne. “The Kyoto Protocol is just another highly regressive energy tax on America's working families, with no measurable benefit to environmental or human health.”  [9]

American Legislative Exchange Council Contact & Location

As of May, 2016, ALEC's listed contact address and phone number were as follows: [62]

2900 Crystal Drive, 6th Floor
Arlington, VA 22202
Phone: 703-373-0933
Fax: 703-373-0927

Related Organizations

SourceWatch maintains a full list of organizations working behind-the-scenes with ALEC.


  1. What is ALEC? Archived August 6, 2015.

  2. Mission,” American Legislative Exchange Council. Archived July 31, 2015.

  3. Task Forces,” ALEC. Archived August 6, 2015.

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