Opinion, Berkeley Blogs

Sometimes people really are out to get you

By Dan Farber

The Guardian has a rather startling story about organized efforts to stamp out wind and solar energy. (I suppose the fact that I find it startling is an indication of my naiveté.)  Not too surprisingly, the Koch oil interests are a major funding sources.

The Guardian lists some of the efforts to eliminate clean energy, which seem to be at least loosely coordinated:

A new $6m election ad buy by the ultra-conservative group Americans for Prosperity attacking Barack Obama’s support for wind and solar power.

An email and telephone campaign by the American Legislative Exchange Council and Americans for Tax Reform to repeal or alter clean energy mandates requiring electricity companies to get a share of their power from renewables.

Putting forward Alec-drafted bills overturning those measures in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Colorado, Montana and Washington state.

Droz [a senior fellow at the American Traditions Institute), in the telephone interview, confirmed that he had enlisted support for telephone campaigns from Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks – both of which have received funds from the Koch family. He also appeared at an anti-wind forum sponsored by the John Locke Foundation in North Carolina last December.

The story also reports efforts to coordinate and support NIMBY efforts by local residents.  Lest I be accused to peddling a conspiracy theory, I should say that this seems like more of a network with some shared funding sources and coordination.  As the joke goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that you don’t have enemies.

Cross-posted from the environmental law and policy blog Legal Planet.