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Celebrating fossil fuels as the world raises the climate alarm

In Louisville’s opulent Seelbach Hilton Hotel, officials from more than a dozen Southern states huddled up in a fossil fuel bubble that was meant to shield everyone in attendance from hundreds of thousands of voices around the globe demanding that countries reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who currently chairs the Southern States Energy Board, was joined on stage by two other governors, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma and Mark Gordon of Wyoming, to welcome the more than 100 lawmakers, state and federal bureaucrats, and representatives of the oil, gas and coal industries who attended the two day event that began on September 24.

The meeting was sponsored by oil, gas and coal companies and electric utilities—including American Electric Power, Duke Energy, Marathon and Phillips 66, as well as petrochemicals giant Koch Industries.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevins top energy advisor Chris Skates was heard to say he guessed he has helped emit millions of pounds of carbon dioxide in a 30-year electric utility career, adding “and I am damn proud of it.”

The main message throughout the two-day meeting was really simple: Ignore those children out there pushing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and for states to do everything in their power to relax environmental regulations as much as possible while the fossil-fuel friendly Trump administration is still in power

Bevin, a Republican, was dismissive of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, calling her “remarkably ill-informed.” Bevins, along with other pro-fossil fuel advocates speaking at the meeting tried to cast doubt on mainstream climate science, many of them saying they needed to get “their fossil fuel message into the schools to influence children.”

Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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