Beyond the Rhetoric
By Harry C. Alford
December 1, 2016 was the 46th anniversary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It started with a “whisper” by the embattled President Richard Nixon. He saw it as a tactical diversion from the uproar over the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement. Prior to that it was a bureau within the Department of Interior. It was clear to most Americans that our air was not pristine and our water quality could use significant improvement. In reflection, a tremendous amount of improvement has been made. I can attest having grown up in the Los Angeles area which sits in a basin and receives poor quality air from Asia by way of the great westerly jet stream
Our environment has come a long way and without little disruption to our industry sector. However, along the way a movement was started. A movement that exceeded President Nixon’s imagination. Nixon’s EPA started turning into a political monster during the 1980’s. By the time, William Jefferson Clinton was elected President in 1992 the proponents of Environmental Justice and Global Warming were growing into an “army.” The leading “general” was none other than Vice President Al Gore. The newly appointed Administrator of EPA was Carol Browner, a very close friend of the Vice President. Also, the Sierra Club was the leading advocate for cleaner air and fighting the effects of Global Warming. Not only were groups like Green Peace, Sierra Club and others becoming stronger through the funding by various billionaires. The Democratic Party joined in the mantra. Global Warming was put on the Democratic Platform and has never left.
The Global Warming Movement had one main strategy. Force environmental laws through regulation. They started putting American Industry up against the “Wall.” Onerous regulations and rule changes started effectively hurting our free market system. Mining, auto manufacturing, and industry in general absorbed or passed on increasing costs to the American consumer. Business associations became the natural enemy to environmental groups. One tool was to claim racism – good old American racism (whites against Blacks). There were claims that corporate leaders had a strategy of guiding the pollutants they produced to Black neighborhoods. It was like evil business leaders would sit in board rooms plotting the “final solutions” to ending the Black race – a form of genocide. They were even recruiting Black activists to consider it the new civil rights struggle.
Now, Black conservatives had enough of this fraud. We organized to fight this dogma. The National Black Chamber of Commerce became a leader in the fight against this propaganda. Through the years there were hearings after hearings; speeches by the thousands; routine congressional testimony to fight off this movement (filled with unintended consequences). Due to the onslaught of costly changes coming out of the halls of the Environmental Protection Agency, over the last four decades we have lost trillions of dollars and millions of jobs have been killed due to this cancerous movement.
Please don’t get me wrong! There has been great improvement in our environment especially due to the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The problem is the fanaticism that grew along with it. We, free enterprise groups, were starting to check the whole army of fanatics during the Bush Administrations. Then something appeared like an artillery attack on our legislative process. Barack Hussein Obama became President. He, himself, appeared to be an environmental fanatic.
During his two administrations, Executive Orders and Rule Changes etc. were being used to skirt around real legislation as Congress would have defeated these extreme proposals. I am talking changes by the thousands. The economic damage was historic. Announcing things like, “I am going to kill coal;” “I will make gasoline so expensive people will stop using it.” It was scary because he was truly serious.
He introduced the Cap and Trade Initiative. We defeated it through Congressional Testimony. Recently, he tried to deliver on his “Kill coal” promise. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stopped this in its tracks (Clean Power Plan). One week later Justice Scalia suddenly died.
The best thing we did was to educate the American People on the tyranny that was taking place. Our message finally got through. So, when Hillary Clinton promised if she were elected the environmental aggression would remain the same, the people fought back. It was not surprising the coal producing states – Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. rebuked her at the voting polls.
President Elect Donald Trump will be sworn in on January 21, 2017. His transition leader for the EPA is Myron Ebell (whom the environmental extremists call a “climate criminal”) will turn the EPA upside down. We have finally done it! The tyranny will start to subside and a vibrant, competitive, and strong America will start to return.
Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Email: [email protected]