Renewable energy contested

Think tank produces anti-renewable energy legislation

A group skeptical of climate change is working on legislation to overturn state renewable-energy mandates throughout the nation.

The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank, has collaborated with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to produce the Electricity Freedom Act, which would repeal requirements for utilities to purchase some of their energy from renewable sources, according to The Washington Post.

ALEC is a group of legislators from 50 states that has long maintained a stance against climate-change regulation. James Taylor, the Heartland Institute’s senior fellow for environmental policy, said the real issue is “that alternative energy, renewable energy, is more expensive than conventional energy.”

However, the Heartland Institute’s motivations have come into question—the think tank received $736,000 from Exxon Mobil between 1998 and 2006 and an unspecified amount from brothers Charles and David Koch—whose Koch Industries has significant energy and oil holdings—prior to 2001.