Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition

Unifying the voice of a generation in environmental solidarity

Powervote Day of Action!

on September 20, 2012

Today MSSCers from Michigan State and the University of Michigan are holding coordinated events to support the national Powervote day of action. Students from both of these schools will be out around campus collecting student clean energy voter pledges and driving calls to get Duke to dump ALEC. These actions are part of a larger fall clean energy campaign and the national Powervote movement.

On both of these campuses students got creative and will be handing out corporate polluter fact sheets attached to dum dums (because corporate polluters are dum!). These students are hoping to spread the word about how oil and gas corporations are using their $$$$$$ to influence our policies, and prevent a transition to renewable energy. Last night at MSU, we held a meeting to talk about the event and put together our materials! It was a great way to get to know each other better, eat some candy, and talk about best practices.


Here are the facts that these students will be handing out, taken from the NWF’s newly released student guide for uncovering the truth about corporate polluters:

  • 10 of the top 20 most profitable companies in the world are oil, gas and mineral extractions companies.
  • During the current session of Congress, nearly $23 million in campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests and companies have been distributed to Representatives thus far.
  • In 2011, the oil and gas industry spent $149 million on lobbying, outspending the renewable energy sector by about three to one.
  • Oxbow Corporation, a global energy conglomerate founded by Bill Koch, was responsible for over $2.7 million in donations during the 2011-2012 election cycle. This is the greatest donation amount by oil and gas by over $1 million.
  • Exxon Mobil, the number two contributor to Federal candidates from the oil and gas industry in 2011-2012, has spent over $22,000,000 since 1998 to fund corporations and think tanks that work to deny global warming.
  • Since 1998, Exxon Mobil has spent $176,362,742 lobbying congress, spending almost $7 million in 2012 alone.
  • For every dollar the fossil fuel industry invests in Congress, they get at least $320 back in subsidies.
  • In 2011, major energy companies extracted 627 million barrels of oil from federal lands—lands that are the property of all U.S. taxpayers.
  • In 2011, major energy companies extracted 448 million short tons of coal from federal lands—lands that are the property of all U.S. taxpayers.

If you’re feeling inspired, make sure that you call Duke Energy today and tell them to dump ALEC. It is not acceptable for these corporations to delay our nation’s progress for the sake of profit. Here’s some background info and the script.

  • ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is a corporate bill mill that brings state lawmakers to the table with lobbyists and lawyers from large companies and front groups in order to write model state laws. These include laws like voter suppression, blocks on clean energy and pollution controls, the S.B.1070 law allowing racial profiling in Arizona, and the “Stand Your Ground” laws involved in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
  • Duke Energy is a massive electric utility company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. They own dozens of coal-fired power plants around the country, most of which burn coal from the devastating method known as mountaintop removal mining. Duke works directly with ALEC to create model bills and push an anti-environment agenda.


Call Bill Tyndall and tell him that Duke needs to dump ALEC!

Bill is located in DC and oversees all of Duke’s lobbying and political activity, he has been bothered by calls from all over the nation, it’s time to add your voice. Call him today at (202) 824-8001 ext.  7

Sample Script:

Hello [Duke contact],

My name is ________ and I’m calling from ________.

I urge Duke Energy to sever all ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council due to its role in (pick which issue concerns you most)

  • Suppressing American voters through so-called “Voter ID” bills
  • Blocking solutions to global warming
  • Attacking clean energy programs
  • Blocking the US Environmental Protection Agency from reducing air and water pollution

It is not enough for Duke Energy to say it doesn’t support all of ALEC’s dirty agenda if Duke continues to give tens of thousands of dollars for ALEC meetings and use Duke staff to help ALEC’s state operations.



Stay tuned to hear about how we did!


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