Two renewable energy industry groups have dropped out of the American Legislative Exchange Council, citing the conservative coalition's efforts to wipe out state-level clean energy programs.
ALEC connects businesses and about 2,000 state lawmakers to push free-market legislation, and state lawmakers who are members of ALEC often introduce the model bills in their home legislatures -- an increasingly controversial practice that has been widely criticized by liberal and environmental groups and some government watchdogs.
The American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association joined the industry-backed coalition for a year because they wanted a "seat at the table" to discuss hot energy issues, said AWEA spokesman Peter Kelley.
But the groups decided to drop out after ALEC adopted the "Electricity Freedom Act" model bill in October, which would end requirements that utilities generate a set amount of electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar (E&ENews PM, Nov. 5, 2012). SEIA allowed its one-year membership to expire last fall, and AWEA dropped out earlier this month.