A deceptive op-ed campaign to undermine action on climate change is underway in states across the country. Infamous corporate lobbyist Richard Berman is funding sham "studies" attacking the EPA's Clean Power Plan that are produced by the Beacon Hill Institute and distributed by the State Policy Network -- two organizations with financial ties to the oil billionaire Koch brothers. The Beacon Hill Institute studies, which will appear in 16 states this year, dramatically inflate the Clean Power Plan's projected costs and admittedly don't even analyze the EPA's actual proposal -- so newspapers owe it to their readers to avoid promoting these studies or publishing op-eds that do.
A new report from the Center for Media and Democracy reveals an expansive network of closely allied right-wing groups, funded in part by Charles and David Koch and other corporate and conservative sources, operating as the State Policy Network (SPN).
The Center notes that while many of the organizations allied with SPN claim to be independent, their agendas often mesh together and work in concert with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC has often circulated model legislation in state legislatures aimed at promoting conservative causes, including the controversial NRA "Stand Your Ground" law in several states. The report also explains that SPN affiliates are required to share their publications with each other, and as the head of the Alabama Policy Insitute (an SPN affiliate) told National Review, "We trade information all the time and borrow ideas from each other."