Monday, January 04, 2016

National Black Chamber of Commerce Does Not Mislead Minorities


By Norris McDonald

I read Martin Luther King, III's Christmas present article to National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) President Harry Alford and I have to disagree with his assessment.  I have known Mr. Alford for a couple of decades and I know his primary interest is in promoting Black business.  Period. And to the extent he does that, I totally support him.  Now we do not agree on everything, but we are on the same page when it comes to promoting Black business opportunities. Mr. Alford opposes ANYTHING that he considers to be a deterrent to Black business development.  I understand his mission completely.

AAEA is an environmental group that seeks to resolve environmental problems through the application of practical solutions. We are also the only environmental group working to increase African American ownership of energy infrastructure and resources, including the fossil fuels industries.  AAEA and NBCC are on the same page when it comes to Black ownership of energy resources and infrastructure.

With over three decades of Inside The Beltway experience, I also understand politics.  And Mr. King's article was strictly political. You have to pick a side and support it 110% or you are useless. Mr. King has picked a side.  Mr. Alford has picked another side.  Let's look at the sides.

The EPA global warming agenda is symbolic at best.  It will do nothing to slow global warming.  Just ask China and India.  It is political symbolism just like the recent United Nations climate change agreement among almost 200 countries.  These are the HOV lanes of climate change.  EPA acted because the Congress would not.  As with most other clean air regulations, these will flounder around in the litigation pool and alternative regs will be drafted at some future date. The Clean Power Plan will not mitigate global warming.  But our Energy Defense Reservations (EDR) Program would.  We are working to get the NBCC, the Obama administration and the energy sector to accept this approach as our front line offense for mitigating global warming [We would also welcome Mr. King's support].  It is a technology-driven program that will actually reduce global warming and create real jobs.

As far as the NBCC being funded by the energy sector: GOOD FOR THEM.  We would also love to be funded by the energy sector.  Make checks payable to AAEA.  We want more than luncheon and conference funding though. We want partnerships that promote Black ownership of energy infrastructure and resources.  The energy sector does not like it so much when we bring this up.  But they should understand that they could benefit from such partnerships [See our LNG work].

So-called 'clean energy jobs' WILL NEVER compete with the traditional energy sources.  If anybody tries to tell you different, THEY are the ones misleading you.  Moreover, Blacks own virtually none of the fossil fuels industry.  How can Blacks oppose using fossil fuels when we have never owned the mechanisms or materials or resources in this sector? This is why President Obama's true energy agenda includes ALL OF THE ABOVE energy sources.  His Clean Power Plan is largely political to appease the environmental movement and the liberal left.

Our electric power grid can reliably get baseload power from two sources: 1) nuclear power and 2) coal. Natural gas is such a premium fuel that I hate to see it used to produce baseload electricity. The super economies of China and India understand this.  Anyone who says renewables can reliably produce baseload power is misleading you.

Hydraulic fracturing has removed any energy vulnerability for our national security.  That is why Congress recently repealed the ban on the U.S. exporting petroleum.  America is in the process of exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) too. President Obama's Clean Power Plan cannot reduce utility bills.  Botched deregulation in the 1990's and the reconciliation of that debacle will double electricity bills no matter what.

So Mr. King's shot across Mr. Alford's bow was political and useless.  Instead of blacks attacking each other for marginal political gain, we should be working together to aggressively get Black ownership of energy sector resources and infrastructure.

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