Thursday, October 8, 2009

Talk of the Town: Special interests don't care about jobs

Rep Kirkpatrick defends her vote against cap-and-trade. Apparently the heat has not gone down since this hit the news several months ago, and she's feeling it.

Let's start at the top. The Representative characterizes the League of Conservation Voters as a "special interest," and the headline writer collectively characterized them as uncaring about jobs. Rep Kirkpatrick did not say that anywhere in the piece. That's the opinion of the editor, who insists on seeing all environmental advocates as zealots.

The Representative asserts that "global warming is the most important environmental issue affecting our country," yet somehow doing something real to curb carbon emissions and address global warming is not in the interest of rural Arizonans. The logical disconnect here is palpable. Climate change will pretty clearly hurt Arizona more than most other states, and rural areas more than urban. But the representative believes that saving a few pennies on our electricity bills in the short term is the greater good.

Yes, this is a disappointment. I had hoped for a stronger sense of leadership and willingness to take on the very serious challenges that we face, both as a state and as a nation. Coal is literally killing us, Representative. Keeping it a little cheaper is not the way to a secure future. Rather, introducing real market mechanisms to deal with the real cost of environmental damage will reduce the market disadvantage of cleaner energy technologies that will create substantially more jobs and economic activity than coal and oil do now.

PS: Does anyone have a take on what she might mean by "greater Arizona"? I'm pretty sure she doesn't mean that Arizona has claim to territory outside its borders (Sonora, perhaps?), so this smells like she thinks the reader thinks that Arizona is Maricopa and Pima Counties and needs reminding that there's more to the state. It's just a really odd construction to give to home-district press, and she used four times.

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