Vulnerability When It Suits the Enviros

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on August 12, 2009

We all know CNN Sucks for a lot of reasons, and this morning revealed another. The top story on the Web site for a few hours highlighted the Natural Resources Defense Council’s “oil vulnerability” index, which ranks states by how much their citizens are harmed by gasoline prices. From the article that is supposed to be objective journalism:

The annual index compiled by the National Resources Defense Council measures the effect of oil and gas price increases on people’s incomes. The survey also ranks the states that are doing the most to promote alternative energy sources.

The council’s “Fighting Oil Addiction: Ranking States Oil Vulnerability and Solutions For Change” survey finds, for the third year in a row, that Mississippi tops the list as the most vulnerable state when it comes to a spike in gas prices. The study ranks states based on a simple income-to-gas-price ratio — how much a family makes compared with what they’re spending on fuel every year.

“This is very relevant right now. We’ve seen, in spite of the economy being down, prices rebounding because of the summer driving season,” according to Deron Lovaas, the council’s transportation policy director.

I don’t believe in euthanasia of the brain dead, but they should not be reporting either. How brilliant that NRDC should come up with the poorest state (or close to it) in the nation as most affected by gas prices by comparing average incomes to fuel expenses. Next thing you know the Dairy Substitute Association (okay, I’m making that up) will reveal that — omigosh — Mississippians were hardest hit by rising milk prices last year and that alternatives must be researched, developed and subsidized! And what a great idea NRDC has come up with for every other advocacy organization in existence — create bogus studies that show the greatest harm is done to the poorest states by the products and activities you hate!

And even better, if you are on the leftist/environmentalist side of said issue, CNN Sucks will highlight it on the top of their homepage and your group can add millions of more dollars in financial support. Meanwhile:

Energy analyst Bill White, with the environmental consulting firm Gardiner and Associates, was part of the “Fighting Oil Addiction” study.

“We are measuring vulnerability, and people who spend a higher share of their income on gasoline are more vulnerable to rising gas prices. We’re concerned with working folks and their vulnerability to this. If they don’t have alternatives and the policies aren’t moving in directions to provide them with alternatives, they will continue to be vulnerable,” White said.

Yes, and the environmental extremists want to force their expensive “alternatives” on the poor with electricity as well, such as wind and solar power. Funny it doesn’t matter to groups like NRDC how “vulnerable” Mississippians are with those policy prescriptions they advocate.

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