Oklahoma contingent joins group assailing ‘climate change’ orthodoxy

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 01-Dec-2010

A contingent of Oklahomans headed today (Wednesday, December 1) to Cancun, Mexico for the United Nations Global Climate Change Conference. The Sooners plan, at least figuratively, to rain on the parade of those who have organized the U.N. event. In Tulsa, critics of global warming and current “climate change” concepts are having a state-level gathering to join the cause.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is bringing hundreds of activists to Cancun to protest the U.N. gathering (www.HotAirTourCancun.com). The Oklahomans’ jaunt to Cancun has been organized by Stuart Jolly of AFP’s Oklahoma chapter. Jolly dismisses the U.N. event as part of a final (and, he predicted in advance, unsuccessful) push for cap-and-trade strictures to limit domestic use of fossil fuels. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who is arguably the harshest congressional critic of what he calls the global warming “fraud,” will speak via Webcast to the AFP event in Cancun.

In an interview with CapitolBeatOK, Jolly said, “Obviously, the pendulum on climate change attitudes is swinging back towards common sense and reality. There for a while, the likes of Al Gore and friends tried to scare the American people and prey on our emotions, but this isn’t an emotional issue – it’s a freedom issue. At a time when American taxpayers are hurting, the country should not be spending millions on these conferences.”

AFP is sponsoring a series of “Hot Air Live” events, including one in Sen. Inhofe’s hometown of Tulsa. At that event, Randy Brogdon, the former state senator who gave Mary Fallin a run for her money in last summer’s heated Republican primary, will be featured speaker at the Tulsa event, which begins Thursday (December 2) at 7 p.m. CST. Oklahoma’s “hot air” event is at the

Hilton Tulsa Southern Hills, 7900 S. Lewis Avenue. A $10 cost includes a BBQ dinner, Jolly said.

Jolly told CapitolBeatOK that AFP saw no redeeming features in the U.N. gathering at Cancun: “Our position is that the remedy proposed is going to be worst than the event.  There is nothing in cap-and-trade that will prevent what is occurring naturally. It’s nothing more than a hidden tax to get you to use less energy and rely on the government for your needs. President Obama should not pledge emission reductions that Congress has not passed.”

Jolly continued, “The Cancun meeting comes on the heels of the huge failure in Copenhagen to reach an agreement on what will replace the Kyoto Accord in 2012 when the plan expires. Copenhagen was lauded as the largest gathering of world leaders in history and expectations could not live up to reality as the conference collapsed of its own weight.

“The Cancun conference is even less likely to produce an international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. The world economy is still recovering and most countries know better than to commit to a regime that will raise energy prices and stifle economic growth.”

Jolly, state Director for Oklahoma’s AFP, argues, “Oklahomans don’t want to regulate carbon emissions, and yet Washington bureaucrats continue to run wild with taxpayer dollars. At a time when Oklahoma taxpayers are struggling, the government should not be spending millions on the whims of radical environmentalists who hope to raise our taxes and regulate our lives.”

Inhofe will join AFP national President Tim Phillips for a live Webcast on “how carbon regulating policies result in lost jobs, higher taxes and less freedom.” After that Webcast, Brogdon will speak at the Tulsa Event. After the live Webcast, State Senator Randy Brogdon will speak live in Tulsa.

In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, AFP President Tim Phillips said, “Just like Copenhagen last year, this Climate Change Conference will fail to reach an international agreement on the issue.”

AFP, which has occasionally drawn (by name) the ire of President Barack Obama, describes itself as “a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens to support restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits.”

Oklahoma is one of 31 state chapters and affiliates for the group. While the group is non-partisan and does not involve itself directly in electoral activity, it has been active in state policy debates for years. In October, the group brought entrepreneur Herman Cain to Oklahoma City.