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News in 90 Seconds: Alabama’s Enviro Invasion

The News in 90 Seconds is a brand new feature on Yellowhammer in which we take a complex issue and boil it down into a short video to make it more understandable. We’ll be exploring a wide range of topics in the coming months. Today we’re breaking down the growing environmentalist movement in our state.

Check out the video above. The transcript of the voiceover is below and includes links to our coverage of each of the issues mentioned.

Got a topic you want us to explain? Let us know by emailing us HERE with “News in 90” in the subject line.

Radical environmentalism is nothing new.

But since the green movement is fairly new in Alabama, a California-based environmental foundation funneled over $3 million into local groups to jumpstart their operations.

A huge chunk of those dollars were earmarked for “Accelerating the retirement of coal-fired power plants in Alabama.”

Not a single dollar was earmarked for consumer advocacy, which is what the green groups claimed they were doing when they targeted the Alabama Public Service Commission.

The enviro groups were met with fierce opposition by at the PSC, which denied the groups’ call for formal legal proceedings that could open the door for Obama’s “War on Coal” to come to Alabama for the first time.

But Commissioner Terry Dunn backed the environmental groups’ position.

That earned the Dunn, a Republican, some unlikely allies, and fierce opposition from the coal industry.

Meanwhile, wind energy companies moved into Alabama, led by a personal friend of President Obama’s.

A 6-year-old activist got over 1,400 Alabamians to sign a petition to “Say ‘no’ to wind turbines.”

The Legislature passed bills to protect some local areas, but a statewide bill was killed by green energy company lobbyists.

Environmental groups also sued to stop the Northern Beltline, a highway that Gov. Bentley said would “spur economic growth.”

A judge ruled their request “useless and redundant.”

But it’s unlikely they’ll be going away any time soon, especially with an ally in the White House and big donors sending money their way.

That’s environmentalism in Alabama, and this has been “The News in 90 Seconds.”


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims