The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) - known by its critics as a "corporate bill mill" - has hit the ground running in 2013, pushing "models bills" mandating the teaching of climate change denial in public school systems.
January hasn't even ended, yet ALEC has already planted its "Environmental Literacy Improvement Act" - which mandates a "balanced" teaching of climate science in K-12 classrooms - in the state legislatures of Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arizona so far this year.
It appears nothing is going to stop ALEC and its Koch Brother founders from using every tool available to promote their own interests in extracting as much energy from the ground as cheaply as possible with the fewest regulations imposed on their free-market business model.
Colorado's Same Day Affair
One sure sign of a coordinated, ALEC-lead effort is the fact that Colorado's state legislature introduced the ALEC model on the same day as did Oklahoma's. The two states, it's worth noting, share a border on Oklahoma's panhandle.
On Jan. 18, 2013, eight representatives and four senators introduced HB 13-1089, coining the bills the "Academic Freedom Acts."
Paralleling the language in the ALEC model and the Oklahoma bill, the HB 13-1089 aims to "Inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills," also recognizing that the teaching of the concept global warming "can cause controversy."
One of the senators co-sponsoring the bill, Rep. Scott Renfroe (R-13) is an ALEC dues-paying member. He's also attended at least one ALEC meeting paid for by Colorado taxpayers, according to the CMD's "Buying Influence" report.
Of the $91,000 dollars he raised for the 2012 election, over $5,000 of it came from the oil, gas and electric utilities industry, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
This includes taking money from Chesapeake Energy, Anadarko Petroleum, Williams Companies, and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.