The Kansas legislature appears intent in stacking out the most hostile environmental record in the nation. Sponsors have introduced Kansas House Bill 2366 to ban any funds to be used to “promote or implement sustainable development.” The anti-environmental legislation is meant to prevent measures designed to balance development with the sustaining of natural resources. The main sponsor, Republican Rep. Dennis Hedke has close ties with oil and gas companies.
This act states:
“Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
Section 1. (a) No public funds may be used, either directly or indirectly, to promote, support, mandate, require, order, incentivize, advocate, plan for, participate in or implement sustainable development. This prohibition on the use of public funds shall apply to:
(1) Any activity by any state governmental entity or municipality;
(2) the payment of membership dues to any association;
(3) employing or contracting for the service of any person or entity;
(4) the preparation, distribution or use of any kit, pamphlet, booklet, publication, electronic communication, radio, television or video presentation;
(5) any materials prepared or presented as part of a class, course, curriculum or instructional material;
(6) any current, proposed or pending law, rule, regulation, code, administrative action or order issued by any federal or international agency; and
(7) any federal or private grant, program or initiative…”
Just in case you think that sustainable development is some conspiracy cloaked in misleading language, here is how it is defined in the law: “a mode of human development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come…”
It appears that that purpose fills sponsors with rage. Hedke reportedly has close ties to the oil and gas industry. Hedke is a contract geophysicist whose client list includes 30 regional oil and gas companies. Yet he told reporters that he fails to see the conflict. When asked if his working for these companies crossed his mind in introducing the legislation, Hedke responded “I can’t see why. I didn’t think about that. It really never crossed my mind.” I do not know which is worse, legislating with a conflict of interest or not even seeing the basis for a conflict. He is the chair of the Energy and Environment Committee.
His bio proclaims:
In building his career to his current position as a global geophysical consultant, Dennis has served in many leadership positions, including President and CEO of an independent energy company. Dennis will use his leadership experiences to reduce unnecessary tax and regulatory burdens in order to support the growth and development of small businesses. Dennis’ geoscience consulting activities have supported domestic, as well as international, energy exploration and development projects, affording Dennis unique experiences and perspectives in collaboration and management.
He also states that “Dennis believes children will build the future of Kansas” so long as that future does not require sustaining their environment by balancing development and resource protection.
Source: Green Building Advisor