No harm from cap-and-trade? You lie!
By Don L. Blankenship – 10/20/09 07:35 PM ET
Those two words made big news last month when Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) yelled them at President Barack Obama’s healthcare speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. Congress demanded an apology. Others applauded the words as refreshing and long overdue.
Whether the words “you lie” applied properly to the health insurance debate, I don’t know. But the opinion of Rep. Wilson was very clear to everyone. Unlike so many politicians, business leaders and spin masters his comments weren’t clouded by what I call “sophistikitis,” the practice of being so politically correct and overly sophisticated as to leave open for interpretation what you really mean.
As chairman and CEO of Massey Energy, the nation’s fourth-largest coal company, I aim to be as clear as Rep. Wilson relative to the theory of global warming.
Speaking plainly and clearly is a rarity in politics and business — particularly among CEOs of publicly traded companies. Many times I’ve sat in meetings with executives who admit privately they doubt the certainty of the science behind global warming claims. And they acknowledge that global warming legislation will have a devastating effect on their companies in the form of lost jobs and lower output.
The reality, which many Americans may not realize, is that CEOs, presidents and shareholders of publicly traded companies fear that if they are clear in expressing their opinions in opposition to legislation like cap-and-trade, the government of the United States of America will exercise “extra scrutiny” in its regulation of their companies. Certainly, domestic energy companies like Massey can’t withstand much extra scrutiny or retaliatory regulation from the government.
However, the truth is the truth and lies are lies. Neither politicians nor government nor the media can change that. In Spain, an economics professor calculates that green jobs schemes have destroyed more than 110,000 jobs in that country, or 2.2 jobs destroyed for every one created. The CEO of the world’s largest renewable energy company, Eon, is warning the EU that further cuts to CO2 emissions will only raise the cost of energy, putting the region at a competitive disadvantage and driving production overseas.
The truth about global warming alarmists in the business community who say Congress must pass laws immediately to stop the planet from warming is that they are driven more by pursuit of profit than pursuit of science and real atmospheric temperatures. These companies lie for profit and at the expense of American families’ budgets, American’s homeland security, and the quality of the world’s air and water.
You see, they know cap-and-trade will hurt the American economy. That it will cost American jobs. That it will increase our dependency on foreign energy. And yes, they know that it will increase global pollution by moving production to unregulated countries like China. They also know the world is cooling. They know that cap-and-trade won’t lower the earth’s temperature. To those saying otherwise I say simply, “You lie.”
Blankenship is chairman and CEO of Massey Energy Co.