Left-wing climate crusaders are continuing to wage war against the Yellowhammer State’s energy sector, according to Alabama Secretary of State campaign finance records.
The Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) has repeatedly been the target of environmentalists who wish to implement their costly green agenda in the Republican-dominated state.
Such individuals and entities have targeted Alabama’s coal industry through lawsuits and have even gone as far as protesting the PSC to end the use of natural gas, ignoring what many have determined would be the devastating job loss and utility rate spike that would occur as a result of their activism.
Proponents of the Democratic Party’s climate change agenda appear to have selected their preferred candidate in the PSC Place 2 Republican primary.
In an attempt to defeat incumbent Republican PSC Commissioner Chip Beeker, a noted supporter of the state’s robust fossil fuel industry, two of Alabama’s leading environmentalists are financially backing his primary opponent, twice-failed PSC candidate Robin Litaker.
The liberal donors’ targeted return on their investment in Litaker could possibly be found in their respected political contribution histories.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) campaign finance records show that Margaret Wade Johnston, a state leader of the California-based “environmental and social justice” advocacy group Sierra Club, loaned Litaker’s campaign $45,000.
The Democrat donor holds a history of backing progressive candidates in an attempt to defeat incumbent conservatives in Alabama.
Johnston donated to the Democratic challengers of U.S. Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) and Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in the 2018 general election. She also donated to former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in 2020.
In 2016, the Sierra Club backed failed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and in 2020 endorsed then-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Joining the Sierra Club leader in backing Litaker is Nelson Brooke of Black Warrior Riverkeepers, who donated $20,000 to her bid to unseat Beeker.
Like Johnston, Brooke also has a history of financially supporting far-left candidates.
Brooke has donated to multiple left-wing causes and candidates including former President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and socialist U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential bid.
The Hudson Riverkeeper, a New York-based group aligned with the Black Warrior Riverkeeper through the Waterkeeper Alliance, has joined forces with groups such as the Democratic Socialists of America, Ecosocialist Horizons, Freedom Socialist Party, and Socialist Party USA.
If electoral history is any indication of how successful the climate crusaders’ efforts will be in the state of Alabama, their investment in Litaker could prove unprofitable.
Litaker in 2020 was handed a decisive defeat at the hands of PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh, only garnering 26.2% support among the Republican electorate and losing by nearly 300,000 votes.
Prior to her failed run for PSC president, Litaker was handily defeated in her first head-to-head race against Beeker in the 2018 Republican primary for Place 2, which saw the commissioner more than double her vote total.
As climate alarmists seek to shutter Alabama’s energy industry through their political advocacy, it is important to note the economic impact the far-left’s environmental agenda would have on Alabama.
According to a 2021 study published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Mobile is home to the largest U.S. seaport for coal imports and the third-largest for coal exports.
Additionally, Alabama’s three oil refineries combined have the ability to process nearly 140,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The state is also the nation’s fourth-largest producer of electricity stemming from nuclear power.
While leftist groups such as the Sierra Club and Riverkeepers continue to wage war against Alabama’s $13 billion-plus energy industry, the citizenry will have the final say at the ballot box as to which policy direction state officials take.
Litaker, with the support of her environmentalist allies, will for a third time appear on the GOP primary ballot as she seeks to convince Alabama’s Republican electorate to grant her a seat on the powerful utility regulatory commission.
The primary election will take place May 24, 2022.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL
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