A recent piece by Ken Hemphill in the Delaware County Times is nothing short of hypocritical. Hemphill, an activist with the environmental group, Sierra Club, used his submitted column to attempt to throw shade on a recent, thoughtful OpEd by former Congressman Charlie Melancon.
As a Democrat from an oil and gas producing state, Louisiana, Melancon understands first-hand the countless benefits that reliable, efficient energy production and delivery provide. Energy costs are often times the highest monthly costs for seniors and those less financially well-off, two groups that Democrats historically advocate for.
Groups like the Sierra Club fail to clearly advocate for our country’s energy future. Just a few years ago they were staunch supporters of natural gas, accepting over $25 million for their pro-natural gas campaign. Today, they appear to advocate the opposing argument. Are they a turncoat or just simply being hypocritical?
Because of the increased expansion of natural gas usage across the country, CO2 emissions are at their lowest cumulative share since 1904. The largest issue with natural gas is the development of a safe transport system that delivers this product to consumers who need it in the safest means possible – pipelines. As Melancon knows and advocates for, pipelines are the safest, most efficient mode to transport energy resources.
The Sierra Club stands in opposition to both of these, which widens their credibility gap for such an important policy debate like our country’s energy future.
Charlie Melancon has stood steadfast, supporting both conservation causes and the expansion of energy production in his home of Louisiana. Multiple catastrophes battered Louisiana during his time in Congress – natural disasters and the BP oil spill. Melancon was a leading advocate, working across partisan lines to ensure that the gulf coast received what was needed to help repair hurricane ravaged communities following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He also worked tirelessly following the BP oil spill to hold those at fault accountable and mitigate the damage caused to the local environment and communities.
Group’s such as the Sierra Club and Ken Hemphill continuously make fact less arguments and in this case, resort to mischaracterizing Melancon’s strong conservation record. Energy and conservation are not an either/or proposition as fringe ideologues like to cast them as. Both are important to our communities and our future.