american legislative exchange council

NC lawmaker overseeing legislative response to Duke Energy coal ash problems downplays toxic thallium pollution

April 3, 2014 - North Carolina regulators have found highly toxic thallium seeping from coal ash pits at two Duke Energy plants. Rep. Mike Hager -- the state lawmaker who co-chairs the committee that will handle coal ash cleanup legislation and former engineering manager for one of the thallium-leaking plants -- doesn't think the discovery is cause for alarm. Is his perspective shaped by his Duke connections?

How ALEC helped Duke Energy block stricter coal ash rules

February 20, 2014 - Duke Energy has long fought strict federal regulations on coal ash, which is in the spotlight again following a spill from one of the company's North Carolina plants. Duke got help from the American Legislative Exchange Council, the controversial corporate-interest advocacy group that has counted the utility among its members.

Art Pope think tank behind campaign to discredit and defund Medicaid

December 17, 2013 - The Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank founded and bankrolled by N.C. budget director Art Pope, sought funding to portray the Medicaid program as "failed" and to urge funding cuts, according to leaked documents obtained by The Guardian. The effort comes as the McCrory administration wants to privatize management of the public health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

Are conservative think tanks breaking lobbying laws?

November 14, 2013 - The State Policy Network -- a national alliance of right-wing think tanks funded by businessmen including the Kochs of Koch Industries, the Waltons of Wal-Mart, and Art Pope of Variety Stores -- is driving a corporate agenda in state legislatures. So why they aren't reporting their lobbying activities?

Duke Energy caught making illegal charges to customers

June 18, 2013 - A utility watchdog and its hired expert scoured Duke Energy rate-hike filings and uncovered numerous instances where the company inappropriately charged customers for things like political contributions and a sports team sponsorship. They're calling on state regulators to fine Duke at least $5 million for the violations.