Expedience

By Andrew Sharp

September 12, 2132

President Rodriguez
The White House
1 Capitol Square
Washington, D.C. 43215

Dear Mr. President:

I wanted to drop you a line after our dinner the other day. You sounded a little upset and stressed at the time, and so even though I was uneasy about what you were saying about energy policy, I thought I would wait until later to send you some thoughts in a letter.

Mr. President, I can’t sugarcoat this — signing those agreements to cut carbon emissions would be a disaster. It has been almost 150 years since our nation’s narrow escape from the Kyoto protocol, and aside from a few halfhearted and laughable climate summits, the energy industry has not been threatened since. But now the rhetoric of a few marginal extremists has driven us to the brink of this unacceptable international treaty that would be the death of our economy.

In defiance of these radicals, I must remind you that despite all the dire warnings for the past century, we are still in fine shape. Once you get used to the summers, which I admit are a tad on the warm side, and a few violent storms once in a while, the new reality simply isn’t the Armageddon the alarmists were predicting. Yes, at first there were some troubling images on our media screens of family farms turned into family lakes, and the Maldives getting uncomfortably damp, and West Virginia rednecks taking potshots at “East Coasties” driving through the mountains with loaded station wagons. But all that unpleasantness has settled down now and it turns out there was plenty of room in the Midwest for everyone. The mega-tornadoes and the hearty hurricane season keep our honest construction workers gainfully employed. And think of all the jobs we were able to maintain in valuable sectors like industrial cleanup or advanced meteorology that would all have been lost if we had caved in to the demands of extremists back then.

And of course, a side benefit to the ongoing march of heavy industry is that we’ve been able to neatly resolve a few thorny political problems. No more election controversies in Florida! And I hardly need mention the benefit you derived from not having to win any electoral votes in the Deep South (very deep indeed these days, eh?). China and Japan could have saved themselves that little war over those disputed islands, the Falkland Islands aren’t causing any tension either these days, and the drug legalization debate in the Netherlands was settled effectively.

Since you insist on harping on the environment, where would we be without the Great Manhattan Reef? Or the Cumberland Gap lobster industry?

And now that we have finally moved the District of Columbia to the high and dry side of the mountains, we’ve put a stop to all that panic about our capital flooding. See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Besides, you have to admit the Buckeyes are more fun to watch than the Redskins ever were.

No one regrets more than I do the extinction of a couple of unadaptive species that couldn’t cope with the sudden changes in habitat and climate, but I must point out that we still have a little more than half of the species left, and how many kinds of frog do you need, anyway? (I certainly don’t need the loud species that currently resides in my canal!)

Frankly, Mr. President, all of us in the nation’s energy and manufacturing industries are willing to make some reasonable concessions, but we have to balance the needs of the environment with practical consideration of our economy. We can’t simply shut down our extraction of the last traces of coal and oil left behind by earlier clumsy technology. We would lose millions of jobs, and besides, clean energy is still incapable of giving us the kind of lifestyles our lives depend on these days. A carbon cap would also drive the price of gasoline through the roof. I hardly need to point out what would happen to your re-election chances if people could no longer buy gas for $75 a gallon!

And don’t tell me you are going to let a few lawsuit-happy malcontents poison your attitude toward our modern clean extraction methods. I will tell you again, we keep the water contamination and radioactive fallout to a minimum (and more or less within EPA standards, I might add).

I hope I have been able to set you free from any worry and care that has been heaped on you by these environmental extremists. I want you to enter the election season confident and riding a wave of popular support, so that I can again have the pleasure of donating an enormous amount of money to your campaign.

Yours sincerely,

J. Delany Higgins
CEO
Giant American Energy Company

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