Extinction Rebellion ATX
XR Austin is currently at the JW Marriot where multiple rebels have disrupted the ALEC conference internally. Alec is funded by corporate interests to push through bills that destroy the environment at the expense of indigenous people and people of color. Energy companies, corporate polluters, factory farms and their politician allies voted to change environmental rules by: Limiting the ability of people to use their local governmental power to protect their towns and neighborhoods from pollution and other hazards, by: Forbidding local governments from limiting pesticide use. Streamlining siting for nuclear and other power plants by placing siting authority in a central agency. Prohibiting local efforts to oppose genetically modified (GMO) crops. Opposing local, state, and federal waste reduction and mandated recycling laws, including regulations on packaging (such as Styrofoam restrictions), in favor of a "voluntary" approach to waste reduction. Eliminating land use and zoning regulationsdesigned to guide new development, and replacing them with private negotiations. Privatizing public water and sewer systemsand prohibiting local governments from requiring that contractors meet labor and wage standards. Undermining environmental regulations through novel, aggressive legal theories that claim regulations limiting pollution, for example, constitute a "taking" of the right to pollute and thus require compensation under the Constitution, through innocuously named bills like: the "Private Property Protection Act" and the the "Regulatory Costs Fairness Act" Expanding the rights of polluters, and limiting regulation of greenhouses gases and other industrial activities, by: Protecting polluting corporations from civil and criminal liability by making a company’s internal audit or assessments of its pollution "privileged" and thus inadmissible in legal proceedings. (See also this bill). Opposing uniform rules on hazardous coal combustion waste, in favor of a race-to-the-bottom amongst state rules. Creating new burdens for legislators and agencies to pass environmental regulations by: Establishing a business-dominated panel to "assess" all environmental regulations, using a framework established by a climate change-denier, the "Copenhagen Consensus." Requiring states pass through multiple layers of process before passing environmental regulations, including approval by two five-person panels emphasizing the theoretical "economic" effect of regulations. Hindering state-level regulation of groundwater contaminants by establishing EPA standards as a ceiling, rather than a floor, giving an agribusiness-dominated agency a regulatory veto, and adding other burdens. Putting the regulation of "fracking" for methane gas in the hands of the states rather than establishing federal safety and environmental standards. Fracking has been shown to spoil enormous quantities of drinkable water and contaminate nearby wells and watersheds. Reversing notions of preemption by giving states authority to invalidate any federal law or directive deemed to violate an expansive conception of state’s rights. Giving states the power to appropriate national parks and other federal public land, possibly to allow greater oil, gas, and coal extraction. ALEC stands for American Legislative Exchange Counsel; it was founded in the 1970’s and was a way to get corporate industry ideas to lawmakers. As it grew in momentum by the 90’s the corporate industry was actually writing laws (model bills). The way they planned to accomplish getting there bills in place and in changing laws on a larger scale was by doing it from the state level, getting legislatures to propose “model bills” and getting them passed in each of their own states. This method has worked very well. Close to 98% of ALEC’s funding comes from corporations. The funding works like this: Corporate Members pay annually between 7,000 and 25,000yr If a corporation participates in any of the 9 task forces (which they do), additional fees apply. Ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 depending on the task force. Corporations can sponsor events or specific projects; they also give away “scholarships” so that legislatures can come to events. ALEC also receives grants from corporations. Less than 2% of ALEC’s funding comes from “Membership Dues” Membership dues are $50 per year paid by state legislators. (2) Alec is non-profit. Non-profits are generally groups formed without the intention of making a profit. Being non profit this also means they are tax exempt.