At the Grand Hyatt.
8:00am – 9:15am Plenary Breakfast with State Sen. Mark Green (R-Tenn.-22)
9:30am – 2:00pm ALEC Exhibition Hall Open
9:30am – 10:45am Workshops (Topics TBA)
11:00am – 12:15pm Workshops (Topics TBA)
12:30pm – 2:15pm Plenary Lunch with Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)
2:30pm – 5:30pm Civil Justice Task Force Meeting
2:30pm Welcome and Introductions2:30pm – 5:30pm Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Meeting
2:45pm Task Force Update and Sunset Review Overview
2:55pm State Legal Reform Activity Update
3:05pm PRESENTATION: Insights and Experiences from the Phantom Damages Elimination Act
3:20pm Model Legislation: Update to the Non-Economic Damages Act
3:30pm PRESENTATION: Reforming Archaic Discovery Rules on the Federal Level
3:45pm Model Legislation: The Citizen Participation Act [Anti-SLAPP]
4:05pm PRESENTATION: Patent Trolling Litigation: What Can the States Do?
4:20pm PRESENTATION: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Reform: Fighting Fraud and Preserving Resources
4:35pm Model Legislation: Punitive Damages Standards Act
4:55pm Model Legislation: Update to the Private Enforcement of Consumer Protection Statutes Act
5:10pm Roundtable Open Discussion: New Issues in Lawsuit Reform Around the Country
5:25pm For the Good of the Order
￼2:30 Call to Order, Welcome and Introductions by Task Force chairs, Rep. Dawn Pettengill, Iowa, and Mr. Emory Wilkerson, State Farm Insurance2:30pm – 5:30pm Communications and Technology Task Force Meeting with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai
Approval of Minutes from 2013 Annual Meeting
Subcommittee Reports: Labor and Business Regulation; Transportation and Infrastructure; Surety Insurance; Financial Services
￼2:45 Model Policy Consideration: Public Employee Choice Act
3:05 Panel: Insuring the Future – Autonomous Vehicles and the Insurance Industry
4:05 Presentation: Common Sense in Regulating Cosmetic Services Treatments
4:35 Presentation: Minimum Wage Debate Across the States
5:15 Model Policy Consideration: Amendments to ALEC’s Resolution on Business and Franchise Agreement Legislation scheduled to sunset
2:30pm Welcome2:30pm – 5:30pm Education Task Force Meeting
Approval of the Minutes from the ALEC 40th Annual Meeting
Subcommittee Reports and Director’s Announcements
Keynote Presentation by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai
Spotlight on the States Panel: “Promoting Broadband, Protecting Privacy, and Growing E-Commerce in the States”
Electronic Data Privacy Protection Act Statement of Principles for Cybersecurity Draft Resolution Affirming the Digital Right to Repair Consumer Protection Through Disclosure of Digital Rights Model Act21st Century Technology Issues Panel: “What State Policymakers Need to Know About Congress, Startups, Copyright, and Emerging Technologies” An Act Protecting Digital Equipment Owners and Small Businesses in Repairing Digital Electronic Equipment Model Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Law Statement of Principles for the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Resolution Supporting the Efforts of the Telehealth Working GroupNew Business
2:30pm – 5:30pm Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force Meeting
2:30 Call to Order, Welcome, and Introductions3:00pm – 5:30pm Exhibitor Teardown
￼￼2:35 Presentation: EPA Approaches to Regulate Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Power Plants
￼￼2:50 Model Legislation: Resolution in Opposition to EPA’s Plan to Regulate Greenhouse Gases ￼￼under the Clean Air Act
￼3:10 Model Legislation: Resolution Concerning EPA Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards ￼for New and Existing Fossil-Fueled Power Plants
￼￼￼3:30 Presentation: Natural Gas as a Motor Fuel
￼3:45 Presentation: Alarmism and the Science of Chemical Risk
4:00 Model Legislation: Updating Net Metering Policies Resolution
4:20 New Member Introduction: America’s Natural Gas Alliance
4:35 Annual Model Bill Review
4:55 Presentation: EPA’s Adversarial Oversight of States’ Regulatory Regimes for “Fracking,” and What It Means for the Future
5:10 Discussion: Gauging Interest for Future Natural Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Pipeline Symposium
5:25 For the Good of the Order
5:30pm – 6:30pm Chairs Reception
7:00pm-11:00pm State Night (Contact Your State Chair)
At the Grand Hyatt.
8:00am – 9:15am Plenary Breakfast with Gov. Matt Mead (R-Wyo.)
9:30am – 5:00pm ALEC Exhibition Hall Open
9:30am – 10:45am Workshops (Topics TBA)
11:00am – 12:15pm Workshops (Topics TBA)
12:30pm – 2:15pm Plenary Lunch with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
2:30pm – 5:30pm Justice Performance Project Task Force Meeting
2:30pm – 5:30pm Health and Human Services Task Force Meeting
2:30pm – 5:30pm Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Meeting
2:30 Call to Order, Welcome, and Introductions2:30pm – 5:30pm International Relations Task Force Meeting
2:35 Old Business – Approval of Annual Meeting Minutes
2:40 A Report from the Public Pension Reform Working Group
2:45 A Report from the Fiscal Policy Reform Working Group
2:50 Budgeting for Priorities in Indiana
3:05 Update from Washington
3:35 The Crossroads of Federal and State Budgets
3:45 The Possible Consequences of a State Fiscal Emergency
3:55 State Economic Principles
4:05 New Research on State Pension Funds
4:15 Appropriation by Litigation
4:25 2014 Legislative Session Preview
4:40 Update on Multi-State Tax Policy
4:50 Discriminatory Sales Taxes
5:00 Consideration of Proposed Model Legislation
Resolution to Reduce the State’s Dependence on Federal Funds Federal Funds Commission Act Statement of Principles on States’ Dependence on Federal Funds5:15 Model Legislation for Five Year Review Process Constitutional Amendment Restricting the Use of Vehicle Fees and Taxes for Highway Purposes Resolution to Oppose NCCUSL Effort to rewrite the Uniform Division of Income for Tax Purposes Resolution to Permanently Repeal the Federal Unified Gift and Estate Tax ￼￼￼￼￼￼ Resolution Urging Congress to Reject “Windfall Profits” Taxes on Energy Companies Resolution Urging Congress to Update Tax Treatment of Cell Phones Statement of Principles for Model State Laws to Encourage Philanthropic Creation and Operation Statement of Principles on Philanthropic Freedom Resolution Urging Congress to Eliminate Discriminatory State and Local Taxes on Automobile Renters5:25 New Business
6:00pm – 7:30pm Jingle Bell Rock: The ALEC Holiday Party
At the Grand Hyatt.
7:00am – 9:00am Exhibitor Set Up
7:30am – 11:30am Subcommittee Meetings of the Communications and Technology Task Force
7:30am – 8:00am E-Commerce Subcommittee8:00am – 11:00am Subcommittee Meeting of the Education Task Force7:30am Welcome and Introductions8:05am – 8:35am Innovation Subcommittee
7:35am Presentation – “Bitcoin: Primer for Policymakers”
7:45am Policy Discussion: Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act
8:00am Adjourn8:05am Welcome and Introductions8:40am – 9:25am Information Technology Subcommittee
8:10am Presentation – State University Public-Private Partnerships: how state universities help businesses deliver market-ready solutions
8:35am Adjourn8:40 am Welcome and Introductions9:30am – 10:10am Consumer Protection, Critical Infrastructure, and Security Technologies Subcommittee
8:45am Policy Discussion on Resolution to Support the Work of the Telehealth Working Group on Interstate Compact
8:55am Policy Discussion on Draft Resolution Affirming the Digital Right to Repair
9:05am Policy Discussion on An Act Protecting Digital Equipment Owners and Small Businesses in Repairing Digital Electronic Equipment
9:15am Policy Discussion on Consumer Protection Through Disclosure of Digital Rights Model Act9:30am Welcome and Introductions10:15am – 11:15am Broadband Subcommittee of the Communications and Technology Task Force
9:35am Presentation — Critical Infrastructure: securing the nation’s backbone
Policy Discussion on Statement of Principles for Cybersecurity
Policy Discussion on Statement of Principles for the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
10:10am Adjourn10:15am Welcome and Introductions
10:20am Presentation – Interconnection: Technology and Policy
8:00am Welcome and Introductions8:00am – 10:15am Subcommittee Meetings of the International Relations Task Force and Federalism Working Group
8:10am Review of the Operating Procedures
8:20am Introduce New Subcommittee: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education 8:30am K-12 Education ReformProposed Model Bills for Consideration￼￼￼10:00am Presentations
Early Intervention Program Act K-1 Technology-Based Reading Intervention for English Learners Act Course Choice Act Student Achievement Backpack Act Student Futures Program ActTechnical Amendments The Foster Child Scholarship Program Act The Education Savings Account ActSunset Review Personal Financial Literacy Act (2009) “Student-Focused Funding Solutions for Public Education” “Public Education Appropriations in North Dakota”10:30am Policy Priorities Discussion Higher Education Digital Learning 11:00am Good of the Order/Adjournment
8:00am – 9:00am Federalism Subcommittee9:00am – 11:30am Subcommittee Meetings of the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
9:15am – 10:15am Intellectual Property Subcommittee
9:00am – 10:15am Labor and Business Regulation Subcommittee of the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force9:45am – 11:30am Subcommittee Meetings of the Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force9:00am Welcome and Introductions by Representative Gary Daniels, New Hampshire, Public Sector Chair and Mr. F. Vincent Vernuccio, Mackinac Center, Private Sector Chair10:30am – 11:30am Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee of the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
￼9:05am Proposed Model Legislation: Discussion and Advisory Vote on the Private Certification Act
9:25am Proposed Model Legislation: Discussion and Advisory Vote on the Public Employee Choice Act
9:40am Proposed Model Legislation: Discussion and Advisory Vote on the Resolution against Legislation that Interferes with Business Agreements
10:05am Discussion and Advisory Vote on the Amendments to ALEC’s Resolution on Business and Franchise Agreement Legislation
10:10am For the Good of the Order
10:15am Adjournment10:30am Welcome and Introductions by Mr. Jim Kvedaras, CN, Private Sector Chair and Public Sector Chair TBA
10:35am “Let’s Get Moving: How America Finances its Different Modes of Transportation”: Moving our nation’s people and products is of vital importance to the American economy, and it is imperative that different modes of transportation are able to seamlessly work together. Come hear from a panel of industry experts how America finances the different modes of transportation—surface, rail, aviation, and waterways — and how state policymakers can create an environment in which they can work together to further America’s economic growth.
11:10am Proposed Model Legislation: Discussion and Advisory Vote on Resolution on Autonomous Vehicle Legislation and Regulation
11:25am For the Good of the Order
9:45am – 11:15am EPA Strategy Session of the Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force10:00am – 11:00am Subcommittee Meetings of the Civil Justice Task Force9:45am Call to Order, Welcome, and Introductions
￼￼9:50am Discussion of strategies legislative and private sector members can employ to address EPA’s rulemaking to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants
10:00am – 11:00am Workers’ Compensation Subcommittee9:00am – 5:00pm ALEC Exhibition Hall Open10:00am Welcome and Introductions
10:30am Discussion: Developing Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation Reform
9:00am – 11:00am State Chairs Meeting
11:00am – 12:00pm New Members and Attendees Orientation
11:30am – 1:15pm Opening Luncheon with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.)
1:30pm – 2:45pm Workshops (Topics TBA)
3:00pm – 4:15pm Workshops (Topics TBA)
5:30pm – 7:00pm Thomas Jefferson Reception with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)
9:00pm – 11:00pm Hats Off to Texas: A 41st Annual Meeting Preview Reception
Center for Media and Democracy’s Nick Surgey has written a comprehensive overview of Google’s recent lobbying efforts, which include:
- $10,000 from Google’s NetPAC to Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for Senate in 2012
- $2,500 to Ted Cruz’s 2018 re-election campaign
- Funding of Heritage Action, which held a nine-city “Defund Obamacare Town Hall Tour” in August 2013 with Sen. Cruz
- “Gold Sponsor” funding for the Federalist Society 2013 annual dinner, featuring Justice Clarence Thomas
- $50,000 sponsorship of the Competitive Enterprise Institute 2013 annual dinner, featuring Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
- Support for Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union, the American Conservative Union, and the Koch brothers’ Cato Institute, all new in 2013
These politicians and organizations describe the scientific threat of global warming from fossil-fuel combustion as a liberal conspiracy to promote policies to seize power, cripple the economy and limit American freedom. They all have close ties to the fossil-fuel industry.
“Political spending for corporations is purely transactional. It is all about getting policies that maximize profitability,” Bob McChesney, founder of Free Press, told CMD. “So even ostensibly hip companies like Google invariably spend lavishly to support groups and politicians that pursue decidedly anti-democratic policy outcomes. It is why sane democracies strictly regulate or even prohibit such spending, regarding it accurately as a cancer for democratic governance.”
Google did not respond to CMD’s request for comment.
At the American Legislative Exchange Council’s upcoming States & Nation Policy Summit, the corporate lobbying group will be considering a resolution aimed to stall rooftop solar deployment.
Green Tech Media’s Stephen Lacey reports:
In early December, ALEC will be holding a task force meeting on energy and environmental issues in Washington, D.C. It has now included net metering on its list of priorities for “model legislation” in 2014.
ALEC recently put together a draft resolution on net metering that will set up discussions at next month’s task force meeting on writing laws changing net metering policies.
As currently written, the resolution lacks detail. But the broad framework mirrors the current debate within utilities about how to restructure crediting mechanisms for solar owners:
- Update net metering policies to require that everyone who uses the grid helps pay to maintain it and to keep it operating reliably at all times;
- Create a fixed grid charge or other rate mechanisms that recover grid costs from DG systems to ensure that costs are transparent to the customer; and
- Ensure electric rates are fair and affordable for all customers and that all customers have safe and reliable electricity.
“The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a trade group for investor-owned utilities, helped write the resolution with ALEC,” writes Lacey. “And Arizona Public Service, a utility at the center of the battle around net metering policy, is also a member of the organization’s energy and environment task force.”
“We supported them. [...] We worked with them on that resolution,” said Rick Tempchin, executive director of retail energy services at EEI, in a video recorded surreptitiously by the Checks and Balances Project. Lacey continues:
Over the summer, EEI released a report warning that distributed generation technologies like solar “directly threaten the centralized utility model” and called for increased attention on how to manage disruption in the power sector.
Months later, EEI began spending money on a campaign to support changes to net metering policy in Arizona — adding to the $9 million already spent by Arizona Public Service.
The electric utility on ALEC’s corporate board, Energy Future Holdings, tells the public it is committed to supporting renewable energy.
Also on the agenda for the energy task force at the 2013 summit is “Discussion of strategies legislative and private sector members can employ to address EPA’s rulemaking to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.” The task force plans to keep ALEC “on record opposing any EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.”
ALEC’s anti-climate agenda is raising questions about why publicly green companies have recently joined the organization. For example, in 2011, Google invested over $350 million in rooftop-solar deployment. In 2013, Google joined ALEC.
ALEC DC Summit Speakers Lineup: Top Republican 2016 Presidential Contenders, Climate Conspiracy Theorists
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), Gov. Matt Mead (R-Wyo.), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)
- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
- Gov. Matt Mead (R-Wyo.)
- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
- Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)
All five reject the science of climate change, arguing that scientists are part of a conspiracy to attack the use of fossil fuels.
- Johnson: “I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change. It’s not proven by any stretch of the imagination. It’s far more likely that it’s sunspot activity or just something in the geologic eons of time.”
- Ryan: Scientists are guilty of a “perversion of the scientific method, where data were manipulated to support a predetermined conclusion” to “use statistical tricks to distort their findings and intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.”
- Mead: “I am unconvinced that climate change is man-made, but I do recognize we may face challenges presented by those who propose and believe they can change our climate by law with ill-thought-out policy like cap and trade (the latest version of which is the Senate Climate Bill, S. 1733, unveiled May 12th).”
- Cruz: “There remains considerable uncertainty about the effect of the many factors that influence climate: the sun, the oceans, clouds, the behavior of water vapor (the main greenhouse gas), volcanic activity, and human activity. Nonetheless, climate-change proponents based their models on assumptions about those factors, and now we know that many of those assumptions were wrong.”
- Pence: “I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming. . . In the mainstream media, Chris, there is a denial of the growing skepticism in the scientific community about global warming.”
Also scheduled to speak is Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lobbyist appointed by President Obama in 2012 as a Republican FCC Commissioner, and rising Republican star State Sen. Mark Green (R-Tenn.-22), a military veteran, former field surgeon, and radical gun-rights advocate.
The climate accountability organization Forecast the Facts is protesting Google’s support for ALEC on account of the council’s opposition to Google’s stated support for climate policy action.
We’re not an advocacy or a single-issue organization. We’re a company. We are members of many different organizations, that one included. We don’t necessarily agree with everything that these organizations says and certainly individual employees may not, but we do an enormous amount of good and we’re really proud of the work we’ve done through other organizations. We work with Greenpeace, BSR, WRI, WWF, and etcetera.Watch:
“It’s certainly not because we’re trying to oppose renewable energy legislation,” Weihl concluded, when asked why Facebook is a member of ALEC.
Weihl had earlier noted that Facebook has the explicit goal of being 25% powered by renewable energy by 2015, after which it will set another benchmark. ALEC is working to roll back renewable power standards that support Facebook’s targets.
“The DNA of Google isn’t just about being an environmental steward,” Google’s Gary Demasi said during the panel about climate change. “It’s a basic fundamental issue for the company.”
Like Weihl, Demasi couldn’t explain why Google was a member of ALEC, though he expressed discomfort with the company’s action.
“I would say the same as Bill [Weihl],” Demasi told this reporter when asked why Google supports ALEC. Although he may not be happy with every decision the company makes and doesn’t control the policy arm of Google, Demasi said, “we’re part of policy discussions.”
ALEC’s corporate board is dominated by tobacco and fossil-fuel interests, including Altria, Exxon Mobil, Peabody Energy, and Koch Industries. In its model legislation and policy briefs, ALEC questions the science of climate change and opposes renewable energy standards, regulation of greenhouse pollution, and other climate initiatives.
Google’s policy division is run by former Republican representative Susan Molinari, whose arrival in 2012 marked a rightward shift in Google’s approach to climate policy.
The forum, “Greening the Internet,” was hosted by the environmental organization Greenpeace at the San Francisco Exploratorium. Greenpeace is simultaneously challenging the ALEC agenda, calling out companies like Google for supporting the politics of climate denial, and encouraging internet companies to “clean the cloud.” Greenpeace’s “Cool IT” rankings take political advocacy as a major concern; in 2012 Google had the top score among all tech companies in part because companies such as Microsoft and AT&T were members of ALEC.
The panelists, from Google, Facebook, Rackspace, Box, and NREL, explained why their companies have set the goal of having their data centers be powered entirely by renewable energy.
Box’s Andy Broer made the moral case for acting to reduce climate pollution.
“I’ve got kids,” he said. “We’re stewards here. We need to make certain what we’re doing today doesn’t ruin the future.”
HILLHEAT: I want to, first off, thank all of you for the work that you’re doing. As kind of a failed climate scientist, I’ve dedicated my life to fighting climate change, and you’re actually getting real results in that. One thing that concerns me is that the American Legislative Exchange Council — which is a corporate group that anyone who is a member of Greenpeace or has read anything of their work [knows] — works to block renewable energy legislation at the state level, question the science of climate change, and basically establish policies that prevent the kind of work that you’re doing. So I’m wondering why Google and Facebook are members of this organization, and how it makes you feel that the work that you’re doing is essentially being countered by the political arms of your own groups?
[Nervous audience laughter.]
WEIHL: We’re not an advocacy or a single-issue organization. We’re a company. We are members of many different organizations, that one included. We don’t necessarily agree with everything that these organizations says and certainly individual employees may not, but we are in a position do an enormous amount of good, and we’re really proud of the work we’ve done as a company, and through other organizations. We work with Greenpeace, BSR, WRI, WWF, and et cetera.
HILLHEAT: And do you know why you’re working with ALEC?
WEIHL: I’m not familiar with all the details of why we’re working with ALEC, so I can’t comment on that.
HILLHEAT: It’s not because you’re trying to oppose renewable energy legislation?
WEIHL: It’s certainly not because we’re trying to oppose renewable energy legislation.
HILLHEAT: And is Google in the same boat?
FEHRENBACHER: I’m going to go on to the next question.
Greenpeace and Gigaom’s Katie Fehrenbacher cordially invite you to a special forum on the sustainability of the IT sector:
Greening The Internet: How Leading Companies are Building a Green Web
At the San Francisco Exploratorium.
Cloud and mobile computing are transforming society and have the potential to help make it greener. But the rapid growth in electricity needed to power the online world is gaining attention and raising a central question: How Green is the Internet?
In an important shift, some of the best known Internet companies have recently embraced this challenge head on. Join data center and sustainability experts from Box, Facebook, Google, Rackspace, and other leading companies to hear why they are going beyond energy efficiency and have committed to powering their growth with clean renewable electricity.
Gigaom’s Katie Fehrenbacher will lead a discussion with energy experts and representatives from Internet companies who have already committed to power their operations with 100% renewable electricity, to address question like:
- Why are leading Internet companies committing to 100% renewable energy?
- How can Internet companies play an important role in accelerating a shift to renewable energy?
- What are the challenges to powering with renewables, and how have companies overcome them?
- What renewable energy options do companies who rely on colocation providers have?
Following the forum, all participants are invited to take a tour of the Rainbow Warrior III, Greenpeace’s new custom-built, high-tech sailing ship, which will be docked next to the Exploratorium.
1:00PM Welcome – Katie Fehrenbacher, Senior Writer, GigaOM
1:05PM Building a Green Internet—Why It Matters and Signs of Leadership, Gary Cook, Senior IT Analyst, Greenpeace International
1:15PM What are the options to build a Green Internet?
1:20PM Greening the Internet: Leading internet companies share why and how they are seeking to power their platforms with clean power. Presentations by Box, Facebook, Google, Rackspace and other leading technology companies.
2:40PM-4:00PM Complimentary 20-minute tours of Rainbow Warrior III, Greenpeace flagship docked at the Exploratorium
2:40PM In depth lessons learned sessions on renewable energy options and energy reporting (company representatives only)
Facebook Bill Weihl
Bill Weihl joined Facebook in early 2012 to manage sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives. His group is leading projects to measure and report the company’s carbon and energy footprint, to build real-time public dashboards for PUE and WUE, and to procure clean energy, and generally to understand and manage the company’s environmental footprint. Previously, he spent six years as green energy czar at Google, where he led efforts in energy efficiency and renewable energy, spearheading Google’s drive to become carbon neutral, founding the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, and leading the RE&IT initiative to develop renewable energy cheaper than coal. He has extensive business and technical experience in high-tech, including ten years as a professor of computer science at MIT, five years as a research scientist at Digital’s Systems Research Center, and five years as chief architect and then CTO of Akamai Technologies. In 2009, he was named one of Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment.
Rackspace Hosting Melissa Gray Senior Director of Sustainability
Melissa is responsible for defining and guiding Rackspace’s Sustainability strategy and activities around the globe. She leads the Global Energy Team, Green Teams and is a member of the Global Infrastructure Team. In addition she leads the Emerging Talent team for Rackspace’s Foundation Services organization and is the Executive Sponsor of the LGBTQA Emloyee Resource Group. Since joining Rackspace in October of 2009, her prior roles have included the development of Operational Support Systems and Chief of Staff to the CEO developing Rackspace’s multi-year strategic plan. Prior to Rackspace, Gray brings over 15 years of business strategy and operations experience working for a Fortune 10 company, transforming complex legacy businesses through innovation. She holds 3 EU and US software patents. Melissa received her B.A. from Western Michigan University.
Google Gary Demasi Director of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy
Gary has over 15 strategy development, corporate site selection, and negotiations experience covering a wide range of industries and operational areas. He has personally managed projects involving hundreds of millions of dollars of capital expenditures, and has executed strategic projects on five continents. In Gary’s current role, he develops overall direction for Google’s global data center site strategy, including managing the company’s energy portfolio, working closely with utility and development partners to secure clean energy for operations. Gary participated in the founding of “Google Energy, LLC” and under Gary’s management, the team has secured over 570 megawatts of renewable energy under long term contracts. Gary holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Vermont and a Master of Science in Real Estate from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.
Box Andy Broer Senior Manager of Datacenter Operations
Andy Broer is the senior manager of data center operations at Box. He is responsible for server procurement and provisioning, space and power management and the critical environment that runs Box’s Saas offering. Previous to joining Box in Feb of 2013 he headed Cisco’s Infrastructure Critical Environments (ICE) team for 16 years. Where he was most recently the physical data center design manager of Richardson 9’s DC, the IT “energy czar” watching over capacity constraints for Cisco’s critical IT environments. He was the IT DC build manager for Cisco’s first stand alone Tier III data center in Texas. Prior to that he headed and managed the Data Center Infrastructure Team through Cisco’s explosive growth years in the late 1990s via global acquisitions during which time his team built more than 100 server environments around the world. He was a board and founding member of AFCOM’s northern California branch in 1997 as well as a trustee for a high tech mutual fund (BFOCX) since 1998. He is now co-chair of the Critical Facilities Roundtable’s Technology Group (CFRT). He holds two degrees from San Jose State University: a BA and an MA.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory Stuart Macmillan
Stuart Macmillan is a Chief Scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and a Consulting Professor at Stanford University. He was on the founding team of Energy System Integration focused on improved understanding, decision-making, control and design of complex energy systems. He helped create OpenEI, a global energy data commons, and was on the founding team of JavaSoft.
Greenpeace International Gary Cook Senior IT Policy Analyst
Gary leads Greenpeace’s evaluation of climate and energy leadership by global IT brands. He has authored three reports evaluating the growth in electricity demand associated with cloud computing and how different IT companies are performing in ensuring this new demand is powered by renewable energy. Gary has been active in the climate change & energy policy at multiple levels over the past 18 years, working with government officials, multinational corporations, and local governments to strengthen policy drivers at the international, federal, subnational levels Prior to rejoining Greenpeace in 2009, Gary was California Director of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.
Several organizations sponsored by Internet giant Google are calling on Congress to let the wind production tax credit to expire. A full-page advertisement from the Koch brothers organization Americans for Prosperity states that the “undersigned organizations and the millions of Americans we represent stand opposed to extending the production tax credit (PTC)” because the “wind industry has very little to show after 20 years of preferential tax treatment.”
“Americans deserve energy solutions that can make it on their own in the marketplace — not ones that need to be propped up by government indefinitely,” the letter concludes.Signatories of the letter who are Google-sponsored organizations, according to Google’s public policy transparency page, include:
- American Conservative Union
- Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Heritage Action For America
- National Taxpayers Union
- R Street Institute
Google’s public policy division, which chose to sponsor the above groups, is run by former Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari.
In addition to Americans for Prosperity, other signatories notorious for promoting climate-change denial and attacks on climate scientists include the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), Cornwall Alliance, Freedom Works, Independent Women’s Forum, Club for Growth, and the American Energy Alliance.
The listed organizations are not the only Google-supported opponents of wind power. This year, Google joined the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), whose energy agenda is driven by Koch Industries and other fossil-fuel companies. ALEC’s vigorous campaign against state-level renewable energy standards led to the resignation of the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association, who had been members in ALEC until this year. Google only updated its public policy transparency page to include its membership in ALEC recently, months after the first reports in August of its membership.
Google is a major beneficiary of the wind PTC, as the company has the stated goal of “100% renewable energy” power for its operations, which include energy-intensive data centers across the nation. Google currently is the sole customer of the entire output of three different wind farms — NextEra’s 114-megawatt Story County II wind farm in Iowa, NextEra’s 100.8MW Minco II wind farm in Oklahoma, and Chermac Energy’s planned 239.2 MW Happy Hereford wind farm in Amarillo, Tex. Breaking Energy’s Glenn Schleede has estimated that Google will receive a $370 to $417 million benefit from the PTC over ten years if it is continued.
If the PTC expires, Google shareholders will suffer, as will the nation’s growing wind industry. Moreover, the effort to meet the challenge of eliminating greenhouse pollution will be stalled, as the fossil-fuel industry enjoys the benefits of not having to pay for the costs of its civilization-threatening pollution. Climate and corporate accountability groups Forecast the Facts and SumOfUs have called on Google to end its support for politicians and groups that reject the threat of climate change and oppose clean-energy policy.
Google has not responded to requests for comment.
Update: The fossil-fuel industry group American Energy Alliance’s Press Secretary Chris Warren has notified Hill Heat of an error in the originally published letter. The original list included “Parker Hannifin – Hydraulic Filter Division” in the list of supporting organizations. The corrected letter replaces that group with the “Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition.”
In the New York City region, Sandy helped to mobilize a very necessary, overdue conversation on climate survival, but the politics and economics of ending climate pollution — specifically divesting from the fossil fuel industries — has still largely been ignored.
The forum, webcast live, will confront the challenge that Wall Street faces in its financing of the pollution that is threatening New York City’s future. We will also tackle this thorny question: Why is David H. Koch, NYC’s richest man, one of the people most responsible for blocking US climate action?
- Moderator: Brad Johnson, Forecast the Facts - James Slezak, founder of the New Economy Lab - Kate Gordon, VP and Director, Energy and Climate, Next Generation - Bracken Hendricks, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress - Sophie Lasoff, founder of NYU Divest
This forum follows the afternoon’s Turn the Tide on Sandy! rally at City Hall, organized by the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding.
8 PM at Cooper Union’s Rose Auditorium in New York City. RSVP here.