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Kerwin Olson: Speech at anti-ALEC Rally (7.27.16)

Thank you so much to all the folks who worked so hard to make today possible. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak. And thanks to all of you for taking valuable time out of your day and participating.

Citizens Action Coalition has been hard at work for over 40 years in the building we stand before right now, fighting for consumers, low-income households, clean air, clean water, and a better Indiana. We have indeed seen firsthand the incredible influence of the corporate puppet master known as ALEC. The list of Indiana elected officials who belong to ALEC and who also have a hand in writing and passing laws related to our environment, our energy supply, our natural resources, our air and our water, and your monthly utility bill is long indeed. This list includes 10 members of the associated committees, as well as both the Chair & Vice-Chair of the House Energy & Utility committee and the Chair of the House Environmental Affairs committee. 

Whether it’s an attempt to undermine Federal environmental regulations intended to clean up our air, clean up our water, protect our precious natural resources, or save our planet by reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to clean energy, ALEC is there to protect the corporate polluters, at the expense of public health, and a cleaner environment. 

Or whether it’s efforts to obstruct and even eliminate local and state government’s ability to protect their citizens, or further socializing all of the costs and all of the risk onto the public by privatizing all of the assets and all of the profits, ALEC is there to protect corporate profits at the expense of local jobs and Hoosier consumers. 

We all know that ALEC and their allies played a role in eviscerating our energy efficiency standard and Energizing Indiana which was creating local jobs that couldn’t be outsourced and helping to reduce monthly utility bills. And we are all well aware that ALEC is now coming after net metering to dismantle and eliminate Hoosier’s access to rooftop solar and our ability to generate our own energy on our own property. We must not let that happen. 

And I’ll close by asking, does anyone in their right mind actually believe that a light bulb goes off in a legislator’s head one day and they think, “You know? These monopoly investor-owned utilities probably aren’t making enough cash and boy, despite their guaranteed profits and captive marketplace, they sure are exposed to a lot of risk? I should write a law to protect those vulnerable Wall St. investors and also increase their privatized profits by shifting all of the risk and costs onto the public. That’ll fix things. What a great idea!”


Of course not! That’s where ALEC comes in. And we need to say no more. Enough is Enough! You’re not wanted here! It’s time to get ALEC out of our statehouse. It’s time to bring accountability and transparency back to our government and have a government that is of the people, by the people and for the people. Thank you so much for being here today. 

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