Can a lobbyist tell the truth?


Forgive me if I do not run into my front yard shouting hosannas to Jackson’s mayor for his courageous stand against carbon. If you saw Ms. Dominika Parry’s column in the Northside Sun’s July 25th edition, you know that she considers Mayor Chockwe Antar Lumumba to be Rushmore-worthy because he supports H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation Act.

I do not. In Honolulu, the mayor joined other delegates to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in support of  “carbon pricing,” the Left’s term for “carbon tax.”

H.R. 763 is yet another net cast for mullets who believe that our country can single-handedly reverse climate change. The bill permits the government to identify carbon polluters — mostly those bad old corporations — and then tax them until their accounting departments burst into flames.

The “energy innovation” comes about because the taxes on corporate carboneers will be so horrifying that their research departments will promptly produce methods to deliver sustainable energy, reduce carbon emissions and allow one and all to breathe free. We pundits call this the carrot and bullwhip method.

But wait, there’s more: the government will collect the carbon tax and then divide it among all U.S. citizens. Can you beat that? Clean up our atmosphere, beat up on corporations and get a “carbon dividend” we don’t have to work for. Gracious me, with that platform, Fidel Castro could have won the White House.

But wait, there’s even more than that. Ms. Parry reveals that H.R. 763 is bipartisan, and if that doesn’t smoke your hookah pipe, she adds, “This is the policy actively supported by Sen. Trent Lott.” Well, my heavens, if I’d known that Trent Lott and a bipartisan Congressional group supported a carbon tax, I might not have started this column.

But let’s look more closely at those two factoids.

The bipartisan support of H.R. 763 consists of 56 Democrats and a single Republican, Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida, who may or may not be under observation at press time. The talented and personable Trent Lott, more usefully identified as a former senator, is now a lobbyist at Squire Patton Boggs, one of K Street’s heavyweight arm-twisters.

In June, reported that Lott, a senior counsel at SPB, represents the Solar Energy Industries Association as well as Americans for Carbon Dividends. Oh, and he also represents Royal Dutch Shell, a corporation widely rumored to trade in fossil fuels. OpenSecrets is part of the Center for Responsive Politics, which calls itself a non-profit, non-partisan research organization.

Further to Mayor Lumumba’s heroism in the face of climate change, know that he has the backing of his fellow mayors. They, according to Ms. Parry, “…are on the front lines in dealing with climate change…people in their cities want answers and action.” To that end, they voted in Hawaii to support the Green New Deal.

Closer to home, Ms. Parry confides that climate change is responsible for “…costly damages to our seafood industry from seawater intrusion on the coast.” Silly me, I thought it was the fresh water from the Bonnet Carre Spillway, not seawater.

But why quibble when, absent passage of H.R. 763, we have only a dozen years to live? Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) announced earlier this year that only 12 years remain before we all succumb to death by fossil fuel. During the first Democratic presidential debate, candidates reprised her deadline.

Two weeks later, at the second Democratic debate, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington announced that only 10 years remain before environmental Armageddon arrives and shows us the error of our clichés. That’s two years lost in two weeks. By next November we may have only hours left unless we elect Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren to lead our tribe out of the carbon-infested wilderness.

I am well aware that our planet is experiencing climate fluctuations. It always has. My pique stems from the Left’s cult-level fervor that asserts claim to irrefutable evidence that humans did it and, furthermore, that humans can fix it.

Are there no solutions that rise above versions of the lunatic Green New Deal coupled with more free stuff? Is there no cogent, non-strident explanation of the 12-year deadline’s origin?  Finally, must every panacea the Left advances entail the unilateral destruction of our economy?   

If I were Mayor Lumumba, I’d stick to potholes.

William Jeanes is a Northsider

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