Clyburn Undercuts Own Case
By David Henderson
In an otherwise good article in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, “How Can Greens Make Themselves Less White?”, Journal writer Naomi Schaefer Riley fails to make a telling point against Democratic Rep. James Clyburn. Riley points out that Clyburn is trying to link the issue of environmentalism and the well-being of black people. Clyburn’s view is that black people are disproportionately hurt by environmental problems.
One of the issues in environmentalism, of course, is global warming and one of the proposals that various critics of global warming advocate is higher energy prices, either through cap-and-trade or through taxes on energy.
So what are we to make of the following statement from a report by the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, a report that, according to Ms. Riley, Clyburn relied on? The report stated:
African Americans spend thirty percent more of their income on energy than non-Hispanic whites.
I don’t know if that’s true. But if it is true, then it follows that any explicit or implicit tax on energy would disproportionately hurt black Americans. So, contra Clyburn, they have a strong reason to oppose such taxes.