Over the past few months, proponents of EPA’s proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants have been diligently praising the agency and President Obama for “taking action on climate change.” In this region, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is one of the strongest supporters of the costly carbon rules. However, this organization’s words do not match their actions.
During the EPA’s public hearing in Atlanta, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Executive Director Stephen Smith told the agency that “rejecting science and failing to address and curb global warming pollution, which is leading to climate change and extreme climate disruption, shreds the intergenerational commitment of leaving a better world to our children.” Smith’s testimony sounds convincing, if you ignore the fact that he flew to and from that hearing in a luxurious private plane paid for by his environmental activist group.
Those who visit the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s website, cleanenergy.org, will find a lot of information about the pitfalls of carbon emissions and even some stories about Smith’s Nissan Leaf. What you will not find is any mention of the $92,000 that the nonprofit group paid to an aviation company owned by their executive director for private flights on his $300,000 plane. Many in the environmental community might consider the heavy carbon footprint left by one of their own a cardinal sin.
Actions speak louder than words, which is why it is hard to take the words of Stephen Smith and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy seriously. Flying hundreds of miles in private plane so that you can lecture the public about carbon pollution is hypocrisy, not environmental advocacy.
To be clear, JobKeeper Alliance strongly opposes EPA’s proposed carbon emission regulations for existing power plants. This misguided policy will kill jobs, weaken our economy, raise energy costs, and make our grid less reliable. We believe the high cost of this regulation far outweighs the benefit of the projected 1% reduction in global carbon emissions.