Interstate Research Commission on Climatic Change Act


ALEC’s model Interstate Research Commission Act on Climatic Change is designed to address scientific and economic aspects of the issue of climatic change through the development of a multistate research commission.  Key components of the bill include: state support of basic and applied research; and creation of research commission.

Interstate Research Commission on Climatic Change Act

Model Legislation.

Section 1. {Short Title.} This act may be cited as the Interstate Research Commission on Climate Change.

Section 2. {Legislative findings and declarations.}

The legislature finds and declares that:

(A)  Human activity has and will continue to alter the atmosphere of the planet.

(B)   Such activity may lead to demonstrable changes in climate, including a warming of the planetary mean temperature.

(C)   Such activity may lead to deleterious, neutral, or possibly beneficial climatic changes.

(D)  Further, a great deal of scientific uncertainty surrounds the nature of these prospective changes, and the cost of regulation to inhibit such changes may lead to great economic dislocation.

(E)   Further, some states will be unduly impacted by such regulation especially those that export or produce large amount of carbon-based energy feedstock.

(F)    Recognizing the need for continued scientific research on this important problem, and recognizing that certain states may have a differential interest in this issue between them and between the federal government,

(G)  It is proposed that {insert state} participate in the formation and activities of the “Interstate Research Commission on Climatic Change.”.

Section 3. {Nature of the Commission.}

The Interstate Commission on Climatic Change, hereafter known as the “Commission” will support basic and applied research on the subject of climate change and its influence on the environment and the economy.

(1)   These influences may be beneficial or deleterious, and the Commission will specifically address both hypothetical eventualities in an evenhanded manner.

(2)   {Insert state} will become an equal member of the Commission along with the other states whose legislatures and executives approve such legislation.

(3)   {Insert state} will be part of the Commission, tendering {insert amount} per annum in support of the basic research activities of the Commission. The revenues will be appropriated from {insert funding source}.

(4)   The {insert state} Office of the Commission will be located at {insert university}.

(5)   The Commission will be directed at the State Climatology Office, or where such Office does not exist, the State Director will be designated by the President of a major public research university in each state.

(6)   The members of the Commission will be appointed by the State Director and will represent both the research community and effected community.

Section 4. {Operation of the Commission.}

(A)  The Commission will support basic research and applied research on climatic change by academic and private organizations.

(B)   The Commission will establish a series of guidelines concerning the type of research that will be supported, and these will specifically include:

(1)   Research on the costs and likely success of mitigation of climatic change to Commission States; and

(2)   Research on the possible benefits of such changes.

(C)   The Commission will support research approved by a majority of State Directors.

(D)  These State Directors will subject each research proposal to a standard peer academic review, with specific attention to both mainstream scientific positions and legitimate and scientifically defensible alternative hypotheses.

Section 5. {Responsibilities of the Commission.}

(A)  The Commission will support basic and applied research on climatic change, subject to the guidelines written above.

(B)   Each State Director shall prepare an annual report for the Governor or Chief Executive, detailing the activities of the Commission, including:

(1)   The number, cost, and subject matter of funded research proposals;

(2)   The results of such research, including its dissemination at scientific for a, and in the scientific literature, and

(3)   The policy implications of such research results, specifically with respect to the state of {insert state}

Section 7. {Lifetime of the Commission.}

The Commission shall be in existence for five years after the effective date of this legislation. Any funding beyond five years will require a specific Act of this Legislature.

Section 8. {Severability Clause.}

Section 9. {Repealer Clause.}

Section 10. (Effective Date.}

Approved by ALEC Board of Directors in 1998.

Reapproved by ALEC Board of Directors on January 28, 2013.

Reapproved by ALEC Board of Directors on November 16, 2017.