Saturday, March 12, 2011
New conservatives need to end the tired old debate of state versus federal rights.
States’ rights versus federal’s rights have always been a strategy to circumvent the law of the land. The old conservatives have argued in favor of states being allowed to make laws contrary to the federal government, because they thought they could build a majority in their state that would support whatever issue they wanted to pass or repeal.
This has always been bad political practice, but they argue that they have been anti “this” or “that” based purely on the issue of states’ rights. For example, many older conservatives still argue against civil rights because they say it violated their state’s rights to choose. Was that really the issue or did they oppose civil rights and use the states’ right issue as cover?
If the states’ were to side with same sex marriage advocates, then would hard core right wingers accept same sex marriage or would they fight it through the federal government?
In true form, the federal government makes standard laws that everyone must adhere to, but state and local government can strengthen those laws in their particular geographic area. However, the state or local government cannot make laws that are contrary to the federal laws. For instance, if the federal law says, “No property taxes can be levied against the people”, then no state or local government can make a property tax. They might be capable of creating a sales tax if no federal law prevented them.
Another instance might be on food safety. The federal law might mandate a certain level of protection. A state or local government could not go below that standard but they could exceed it. In other words, they could strengthen the federal law which is the baseline.
The coal and natural gas industry have been promoting their energy as clean energy, but they are spreading misinformation. Coal and natural gas are both resource intensive businesses and produce pollution on large scales. Coal, by its very nature, is dirty. Natural gas when compared to crude oil may appear clean, but the fact is they are different sides of the same coin.
The efforts to store pollution underground is used by the industry, but this policy of hiding waste underground does not address the basic fact that it still exists. There are consequences to this policy that will come to light eventually. Coal and natural gas are not clean, and the ads that the fossil fuel industry run need to stop.
Coal mining also produces polluted water and runoff which damages local ecosystems. Mine remediation does not restore the ecosystem at a deep level. It merely superficially cleans up an old mine. The mining operations also disrupt the natural state that would normally exist.
Clean energy is just a term that a dying industry has erected to buy them time in the face of change. Fossil fuels are not renewable and this is the hidden fact that clean energy tries to conceal.