Partners in Liberty: The American Legislative Exchange Council

Published January 16, 2020

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is America’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism.

Comprising nearly one-quarter of the nation’s state legislators, plus stakeholders from across the policy spectrum, ALEC members represent more than 60 million Americans.

ALEC is a forum for stakeholders to exchange ideas and develop real, state-based solutions to encourage economic growth, preserve economic security, and protect hardworking taxpayers. ALEC members do this through model policies which are considered and adopted at meetings.

When a state legislator becomes a member of ALEC, he or she joins a task force, modeled after committees in state legislatures. At meetings, attendees learn from subject matter experts from around the country and discuss and adopt model policies. Model policies adopted by ALEC members are then posted to the organization’s website for use in developing public policy.

Task Force

The Energy, Environment, and Agriculture (EEA) Task Force is one of ten ALEC task forces. It operates under the principles of free-market environmentalism, promoting the mutually beneficial link between a robust economy and a healthy environment.

The task force develops model policies covering a wide variety of issue areas, including agricultural technology, air and water quality, chemical regulation, energy development, environmental health, federal-state relations, property rights, public lands, regulatory reform, rural development, and waste management.

At a typical EEA meeting, an attendee might hear from a federal government official about existing or proposed regulations, learn about a part of the energy industry from leading experts, and consider model polices on a wide range of agriculture, energy, and environment topics. Speakers include experts from all parts of the energy industry, including coal, natural gas, nuclear, oil, solar, and wind.

Pressing for Policy Reforms

In the last few years, the EEA task force has adopted several model policies to create sensible solutions to problems affecting all Americans. The ALEC Resolution on Wildfire Policy promotes the adoption of reforms to make it easier to clear brush around power lines that can cause wildfires. ALEC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Act model policy encourages the protection of energy infrastructure essential to our modern lives. The task force’s most recent model policy would legalize hemp and CBD to allow America’s farmers to grow new products.

ALEC staff members serve as subject matter experts on a variety of issue areas and work to educate the public about the benefits of free-market, limited-government, and federalism-based policies. The EEA task force has produced several publications on net metering, the impact of federal regulations on states and individuals, and other such topics.

For 2020, EEA Task Force Director Grant Kidwell hopes to develop a State Energy Affordability Index to rank states on energy costs and determine what public policies lead to affordable energy.