Legislative Report - Kevin Gregg, Lobbyist
2023 2nd Quarter Newsletter
I know it will come as no surprise to anyone in our organization, but your livelihood is under attack, not just by a small, vocal minority but by political activists, agency leaders, and unelected bureaucrats.
We are fortunate that Kansans, for the most part, understand how vital fossil fuels are to our lives. They know our operations heat their homes, fuel their vehicles and provide at least some aspect of nearly every product they use daily.
However, short-sighted or uneducated activists choose to believe we can just wave a magic wand and eliminate the need for internal combustion engines (ICE) and coal-fired power plants by some arbitrary future date. In Vermont, the state legislature voted to require all new cars to be emission-free by 2030. California has set a target for 2035 to ban the sale of ICE vehicles. Further, 17 states follow the California standard, called Advanced Clean Cars II, and are all trying to pass similar measures.
The battle isn't just being waged at the ballot box, on tv, or on social media. It goes much deeper. What can't be accomplished through legislation may also be attempted at an agency level. If you can't get the votes in Congress, maybe a like-minded political appointee at the EPA or Department of Energy can begin a quiet campaign passing regulations to hamstring the industry. No one can vote them out, and oversight is much more limited. This is how we end up with unattainable methane emission standards or overreaching WOTUS enforcement. If these regulations go into effect, it may take the action of the Supreme Court to put the brakes on and allow for a more thorough examination of these rules, which may take years to complete.
Finally, the battle is also taking place through an acronym-based war to compel behavior through your pocketbook. Companies like Blackrock and Vanguard are using your money to purchase an interest in companies, not based solely on their potential to make you a profit, but on their "social credit score," which takes into account their commitment to the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) or DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) movements. Even though you may not adhere to these values yourself, your money is being pooled with billions of invested dollars and advancing the agendas of "woke" corporations, sometimes in direct contradiction to the fiduciary responsibilities of fund advisors.
People who oppose fossil fuels, for any reason, are waging a multi-front attack. It is up to us to continue educating people who will listen and fight back against those who want to misinform or ignore our products' vital role in everyday life.
Our industry has survived challenges in the past, and we are prepared to tackle whatever the future may bring. By maintaining and growing membership in EKOGA, we will remain an influential voice for the industry.