Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh is one of those very special people in our midst who is a God-mind-reader. Such people are obviously invaluable to the rest of us, who are not similarly gifted, because they are in the unique position of being able to tell us what God wants us to do. God wisely planted Twinkle on the Alabama Public Services Commission so He could guide Alabama’s energy choices.
And, so it is that the president of Alabama’s utility-regulation commission advised citizens to pray for the failure of a proposed EPA crackdown on coal pollution in order to preserve Alabama’s “way of life.”
I will not back down. We will not stand for what they’re trying to do to our way of life. I hope all the citizens of Alabama will be in prayer that the right thing will be done.
Clearly God hates the EPA and love’s Alabama’s coal-burning lifestyle. And, I guess that we should be grateful that Twinkle appears to have gotten over opening PSC meetings with “pray away the gay” sessions.
Because there’s some heavy-lifting involved here, God has also sent Twinkle a special helpmate, in the person of Chip Beeker, who is also down with God’s plan for ‘Bama’s coal. God has arranged for Chip to run, uncontested, for PSC commissioner.
Who has the right to take what God’s given a state?
PSC Commissioner Jeremy Oden may not have Chip & Twinkle’s “gift” but he appears to be a pragmatic man who doesn’t mind letting the clairvoyants confirm his balance sheet concerns.
Odom believes that the EPA has underestimated the economic impact of having to reduce carbon emissions in Alabama, and believes that the EPA’s proposal “represents an overreach on the part of the Obama administration.”
Paul Reynolds, an Alabama representative to the Republican National Committee, concurs:
The Obama administration should be concerned about a potential world at war instead of something dumb, like a war on coal.
Ditto, the Alabama State Legislature:
Trip Pittman, a Republican state senator who represents Baldwin County on the east side of Mobile Bay, calls federal research on climate change “bad science” and “fear-mongering.” Spending millions based on such predictions doesn’t make sense, he says. “What are the costs of us going on these crusades, these environmental crusades?” says Pittman. “We’ve elevated environmentalism into some kind of religion.”
But, just in case anyone accuses ‘Bama pols of having their heads in the sand [or anywhere else unseemly] good ole Trip, chairman of the state senate’s education budget committee, was able to find a few bucks to fund research at the University of Alabama conducted by congressional Republicans’ favorite expert climate-change-denying witness, John Christy. Christy has since made it onto the state payroll as Alabama’s official climatologist.
See how that works?
So it is that as some concerned scientists, regional planners and other sane people, who have far more patience than I, attempt to break through to the greedy knuckleheads who won’t countenance climate change, they have started framing the conversation differently.
Curiously, some of the states that have the most to lose—e.g., Alabama—are the most resistant to efforts to educate them to the dangers of inaction and the likely outcomes:
Alabama is one of at least six coastal states, including Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas, and 18 nationwide that haven’t adopted plans to cut carbon emissions or taken other steps to combat the effects of climate change, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
If nothing is done, here’s how the coast of Alabama might look in the future:
Folks like Twinkle Cavanaugh are framing the new EPA regulations to cut carbon emissions as a “war on coal” and complaining that 16,000 Alabama jobs could be lost as a result.
However, if the Port of Mobile sinks into the bay 127,000 some jobs, go with it. Many of the global enterprises, like Austal and Airbus, currently situated there, will probably have the good sense to relocate long before the waters start to rise.
Stacie Propst, executive director of the Group Against Smog and Pollution blames state officials’ failure to uphold existing environmental regulations for ongoing job loss in Jefferson County.
“Our state officials are not enforcing the current laws,” Propst said, claiming that Mercedes and other car plants were forced to build outside the county due to excess pollution. “We are polluting so much in this city and we’re one of the dirtiest cities in the nation so we’re not allowed to bring in additional pollution.”
And, I suspect that there’s something to that since Birmingham, AL makes the Most Polluted Cities in the US List regularly.
And that “way of life” that you’re praying to preserve, Twinkle? According to Politico—not exactly a liberal-leaning news outlet—you might want to start praying for it to improve. Of the 50 states, Alabama ranks 45 for overall quality of life.
As John Archibald has written in an opinion piece for AL.com:
Jump on her bandwagon, if you really think Twinkle knows best. But when history plays out, you might come to look a lot like one of those white guys in T-shirts in those grainy photos outside Foster Auditorium, their faces screwed up in hatred, their fists in balls and their passion loaded up on the wrong side of right.
If the history of Alabama has taught us anything – if history ever teaches Alabama anything—it is that what we do today matters tomorrow. Every time we ignore a changing world, each day we refuse to acknowledge facts or twist them to our own beliefs, we lose. And people get hurt.
And now the head of our very own “public service” commission tells the people of Alabama to ignore science that doesn’t suit her political purposes. Believe instead in a science by political poll, a physics of denial. Trust in a science of fantasy, so we can continue to build public policy on the basis of how we wish things were.