Kansas Lawmaker With Ties to Oil and Gas Industry Introduces Bill Opposing Sustainable Development

Kansas State Rep. Dennis Hedke

Yet another thing the matter with Kansas: A legislator on the committee that recently introduced legislation that would force teachers to misinform students about the science of climate change has introduced a bill to prohibit use of public funds to promote sustainable development.

Amazingly, he claims to be unable to see how his ties to the oil and gas industry could present a conflict of interest, as the Topeka Capitol Journal reports:

Rep. Dennis Hedke, a Republican, brought the bill to the House Energy and Environment Committee of which he is chairman. He said Tuesday he saw no conflict of interest in the fact that he is a contract geophysicist whose client list includes 30 regional oil and gas companies.

I can’t see why,” Hedke said. “I didn’t think about that. It really never crossed my mind. I’d probably just say no.”

The bill, HB 2366, prohibits public funds from being used “either directly or indirectly, to promote, support, mandate, require, order, incentivize, advocate, plan for, participate in or implement sustainable development” which it defines as “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, but not to include the idea, principle or practice of conservation or conservationism.”

According to Kansas Sierra Club spokesman Zack Pistora, the bill appears to be an extension of an anti-U.N. resolution driven by Agenda 21 conspiracy theories proposed by Rep. Hedke last year that was linked to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans for Prosperity(AFP) — both of which reportedly have funding ties to Kansas the oil and gas billionaires, the Koch brothers.

The House Energy and Environment Committee of which Rep. Hedke is chairman will also be hearing a proposal to roll back Kansas’s renewable energy standards this week, despite their success at attracting new jobs and wind projects to the state. Both the proposal to roll back renewable energy standards and the bill that would force teachers to mislead students about the facts surrounding climate science also appear to have originated from ALEC.

10 Responses to Kansas Lawmaker With Ties to Oil and Gas Industry Introduces Bill Opposing Sustainable Development

  1. BillD says:

    This law won’t pass even in a Red state and if it passed, it would have to be ruled unconstitutional. Biology professors from Kansas often testify against the looney ideas of state legislatures and committees about evolution. Can you imagine a course on environmental science that only focuses on short term consumption and distruction and does not consider what might be done to pass on a liveable environment to children and grandchildren? I guess that if you can’t advocate for sustainability, you must advocate for the opposite–short term distruction.

  2. Greg Hamby says:

    This type of “thinking” is exactly why the GOP is in decline. They take the American public for fools. They should just get real.
    Total conflict of interest

  3. Tami Kennedy says:

    Wait… Hasn’t the GOP been pushing relentlessly for the increased drilling on Federal lands? Maybe he needs to have more assets in renewables. Balance the portfolio so he is making some profits impacted by his legislation.

  4. Pete Helseth says:

    Then they’d have to outlaw their own town of Greensburg, KS.

    If you don’t know its story, see this two-page DOE summary:

  5. Michelle says:

    God, what idiots.

  6. This is utterly flabbergasting! It’s one thing to be evil, depraved, slimy scum. It’s another to advertise it to the public.

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Each generation of Rightwingers is more deranged than the one before. It’s a type of negative evolution, where the selective pressure is the weight of the money power of the worst elements of the rich. And the MSM has moved further and further Right, the downmarket sections in particular. I’d rather expect these elements to slowly grind down the resistance of the rational and humane, if only because of their sheer fanaticism. Regretably, thanks in large part to the Right’s total global dominance over the last few decades, there is no ‘long-term’ left (save in Keynes’ usage)in which to be dismayed by humanity’s capacity for self-destructive evil.

  8. Michele Brakewood says:

    Sometimes (often) it is incredibly embarrassing to live in Kansas

  9. David Smith says:

    So ALEC is promoting legislation that weakens the people’s government ability to protect itself (this is that issue with climate change and national security) while strengthening the power and control of certain US corporations over that government, at the same time reducing the ability of our elected government to look out for our health, safety and welfare ( I think that’s the gov’ts primary role.) and ability for us to be able to do it for ourselves. This is so wrong, un-American. This has to be illegal. I don’t care if it doesn’t pass.

    We here often about the connection between the left and socialism while almost never about the connection between the right and fascism. Apparently Mussolini defined fascism as the blending of government and corporate power.

  10. riverat says:

    My jaw hit the floor when I read the definition of sustainable development that’s in the bill. How could you possibly say that’s a bad thing?