ALEC: Stop Saying We’re Climate Deniers!

April 6, 2015 4:10 p.m.

The American Legislative Exchange Council has had enough with being called climate change deniers, and the conservative business group is sending out cease and desist letters to some of its loudest environmental critics.

On Sunday the liberal advocacy group Common Cause said that it had received a cease and desist letter from the organization.

“Common Cause representatives have made numerous statements alleging or implying that ALEC denies climate change and have used such statements to urge companies to withdraw membership from ALEC,” the cease and desist letter said. “In addition, Common Cause, including its employee, Jay Riestenberg, has consistently published false or misleading information.”

But Common Cause refused and, in response, said that it’s made “legitimate assertions of opinion.”

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ALEC also sent a letter to the League of Conservation voters, according to The Washington Post.

It’s the latest sign that ALEC has been feeling the heat over departures of a number of former members who griped over the group’s position on climate change. Google and Microsoft were both vocal on ALEC’s position on renewable energy. ALEC, in responding to Google, said that “climate change is an important issue” and that “no ALEC model denies climate change.”

National Journal, however, noted that model legislation from ALEC argued about the positive benefits of climate change.

The cease and desist letter pointed to a statement on the position page of ALEC’s website, which read: “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,” the statement continued. “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.”

TPM attempted to contact ALEC to determine if other cease and desist letters had been sent out. Alan Dye, a lawyer for ALEC, said he was not authorized to provide information without ALEC’s permission.

“ALEC’s demands and legal threats are an effort to shut down debate about its policies and matters of national importance. They seek to chill our right to advocate for the public interest,” Common Cause President Miles Rapoport said in a statement. “It won’t work.”

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