Energy/Mining companies and ALEC

Most of us in Arizona heard about ALEC when their relationship to SB 1070 and private prison companies was exposed in an NPR report last October (2010).  This is an important link in the already assumed relationship between private prisons’ interests and newer anti-immigrant laws and enforcement (see https://azresistsalec.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/when-misery-means-profit-zine.pdf).  Yet ALEC has relationships with a whole array of nasty corporations, not just private prison and security firms.  Some of these specifically affect Arizona, such as Peabody Energy with operations in northern Arizona, and Freeport MacMoRan with their headquarters in Phoenix, AZ.  Freeport MacMoRan is very recently dealing with massive strikes in Peru and Indonesia during which one striker has been killed this October.  Since ALEC is meeting in occupied O’odham land, aka the Phoenix area on November 30-December 3rd, we thought we’d share some information about these and other corporations participating in ALEC.  We especially welcome those coming to the protest from the Black Mesa Indigenous Support caravan who know all about Peabody Energy.

With so-called Columbus Day taking place close to the ALEC conference (or even if it wasn’t), we’d like to call your attention to the many ways in which resource extraction and “development” (what Vandana Shiva calls “maldevelopment”) have been part of a long legacy of colonization, human rights abuses, and environmental destruction on this continent and throughout the world.  Some of us who are opposing plans for an extension of Loop 202 (which would cut through either the sacred South Mountain or the reservation) near Phoenix figured we could find some relationship between ALEC and pro-Loop 202 interests.  Yet even while we haven’t found direct links, we can easily see that it is connected to this ideology of maldevelopment, resource extraction, and the “free market”.  It is no surprise that the Loop 202 extension would serve as part of the CANAMEX freeway, an arm of NAFTA, which would connect to the Tar Sands (of which ALEC members Conoco and Exxon are involved) in Canada (http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sen-elaine-mccoy/oil-sands-canada-economy_b_924532.html).  Look for an invitation to join us in opposition to the Loop 202 extension (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gila-River-Against-Loop-202/148194241910780, http://nosouthmountainfreeway.wordpress.com/).

The relationship between ALEC and energy/mining corporations is not all that different from that ALEC and private prison companies.  As explained in Earth First! Magazine, the energy/mining corporations would have an interest in criminalizing more people as well. “ALEC is responsible for the passage of AETA (Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act), and have crafted a revamped broader version entitled Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act. They also crafted ECO-PLAN (Environmental Corrupt Organizations-Preventative Legislation and Neutralization), which seeks to use RICO-style anti-corruption laws against ecological advocates. ALEC’s model “eco-terrorism” legislation has already been introduced in at least 16 states. ALEC has written bills that would have environmental activists labeled as terrorists for participating in civil disobedience and animal activists labeled criminals for the recording of animal abuse. Along with dozens of pieces of model legislation and resolutions favoring corporate profits over the Earth (pro-biotech, anti-environmental justice, etc.)…”
(http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/american-legislative-exchange-council-exposed-protest-at-annual-alec-meeting-in-new-orleans-august-3-6-2011/)

Specifically highlighted below are a few energy/mining companies who are involved in ALEC on a large scale.  Below these, are some other notable examples involved with ALEC, and as you can see, many are big pharmaceutical companies who are complicit in the pollution of the earth and our bodies.

SINCE 1974, federal relocation policy has forced 14,000 Dine’ (Navajo) people from their ancestral homeland in Arizona.
This genocidal policy was crafted by government agents and energy company representatives in order to gain access to the mineral resources of Black Mesa – billions of tons of coal, uranium and natural gas. (http://blackmesais.org/background/)

Peabody Energy, previously Peabody Coal Company (the world’s largest private-sector coal company) is continuing to scheme for ways to continue their occupation of tribal lands under the guise of extracting “clean coal”.

Peabody’s Black Mesa mine has been the source of an estimated 325 million tons of greenhouse gases that have been discharged into the atmosphere.* In the 30+ years of disastrous operations, Dineh and Hopi communities in Arizona have been ravaged by Peabody’s coal mining. As a result of the massive mining operation, thousands of families have had their land taken away and been forcibly relocated. Peabody has drained 2.5 million gallons of water daily from the only community water supply and has left a monstrous toxic legacy along an abandoned 273-mile coal slurry pipeline. Furthermore, Peabody has desecrated & completely dug up burials, sacred areas, and shrines designated specifically for offerings, preventing religious practices. The continued mining by Peabody has devastating environmental and cultural impacts on local communities and significantly exacerbates global climate chaos.

(http://blackmesais.org/2011/09/httpblackmesais-orgp2329/)

333 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85004 +1 602.366.8100 fcx_communications@fmi.com
[Recently,] strikes halted operations at two of the world’s largest mines, both owned by the multinational Freeport McMoRan. At Cerro Verde, in Peru‘s Arequipa region, some 1,200 workers walked out Sept. 14, following through on their threat to launch an indefinite strike to demand higher wages. The next day, 10,000 workers walked out at the company’s flagship Grasberg mine in West Papua, Indonesia, demanding that their pay be raised from the current $1.50 to $3 an hour to the global standard of at least $17 an hour.
(http://ww4report.com/node/10322)
The company, which has come under fire in recent years for paying millions of dollars to Indonesian military and police to provide security, has also been the target of demonstrations because of alleged pollution and the unfair distribution of profits.
(http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/10/indonesian-forces-striking-mine-workers)
Articles from October 10 report that police opened fire on strikers and one protester was killed.

ConocoPhillips is an “international, integrated energy company. It is the third largest integrated energy company in the United States, based on market capitalization, and oil and gas reserves and production.
In 2003, ConocoPhillips began its Alberta Surmont oil sands project. Construction began in 2004, and production in 2006.
(Source URL: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ConocoPhillips)
Located on sovereign First Nation (Indigenous) territories, the extraction of crude oil from tar sands serves to entrench Canada’s colonial legacy of destroying indigenous communities and alienating them from the ecosystems they have inhabited and protected for millennia. The tar sands also represent the fastest-growing industrial climate change threat in North America. Tar sands crude represents three times the carbon-intensity of conventional oil production. The tar sands area also has one of the highest deforestation rates on the planet (second only to Amazon rainforest destruction), and massive destruction of rivers and waterways. For each barrel of oil, five barrels of water are used…
(http://www.earthfirstjournal.org/article.php?id=476)

  • BP America, Inc., “President” level sponsor of 2011 ALEC Annual Conference[7] ($100,000 in 2010)[8][5][4]

BP (formerly known as “British Petroleum”) is a global oil, gas and chemical company headquartered in Britain and responsible for the largest environmental disaster ever in the United States, the April 20, 2010, blowout of its Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico (discussed in more detail below). The company owns numerous refineries and chemical manufacturing plants around the world.
(Source URL: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=BP)

March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez, ran aground on the Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The tanker spilled approximately 10.9 million gallons of its 53 million gallon crude oil cargo. This oil spill would eventually impact over 1,100 miles of Alaska’s coastline, making the Exxon Valdez the largest oil spill to date in U.S. waters.
Also known for human rights problems with the Chad-Cameroon oil project and pipeline and other problems.
(http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ExxonMobil)

Some of the 23 members of the ALEC Corporate Board include:

Some of the more notorious corporations currently involved with ALEC:

source: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Corporations

See also: ALEC’s Legislation page: http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=PublicSafetyandElectionsModelLegislation&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=3&ContentID=9146

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