Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Editor's note: This article was co-authored by Harry Jackson, Jr. and Nigel Innis.

President Obama recently called Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, to thank him for hiring MVP-candidate Michael Vick, and underscore the President’s support for giving rehabilitated ex-convicts a second chance.

We strongly support both sentiments, and think it is wonderful that a God-gifted athlete like Vick can again market his formidable talents. Our church has an active, successful rehabilitation programs for men and women who “did their time” and want to become productive members of society.

However, the main purpose of the call to Lurie had nothing to do with rehabilitation. It was to push the President’s Green Agenda. Mr. Obama urged Lurie to make Lincoln Financial Field “greener,” by installing wind turbines and solar panels; he also discussed the construction of a biodiesel plant nearby.

Mr. Obama has frequently said the economy will be his “singular focus” over the next two years. “We need to work every day, to get our economy moving again. For most Americans and for me, that means jobs.” He wanted Mr. Lurie to support that agenda.

However, when Mr. Obama says, “create jobs” and “grow the economy,” he means taxpayer-supported “green” jobs and a “renewable” energy economy. This may be politically correct and appeal to some voters, but his plan will cause major trauma to our economic recovery. While Obama’s agenda means subsidizing wind, solar and biofuel power, it also means handcuffing hydrocarbon production and use. The inevitable result will be increased energy prices and obstacles to investment in traditional sectors of our economy.

Mr. Obama’s climate and energy czars, EPA administrator and Interior secretary are imposing policies this very week that will make this untenable result a reality. They will make more energy resources off limits, reduce royalty and tax revenues – and implement by executive fiat the draconian carbon dioxide and pollution controls that Congress and the American people rejected in 2010. The people rejected the plan because the controls would further curtail economic growth, and endanger environmental quality and human health and welfare.

For both ex-cons and citizens who have never been inside a jail cell, those policies will mean higher prices, higher taxes, fewer opportunities, hobbled civil rights progress, and a still moribund economy. They may create more jobs for government bureaucrats, but will cost millions of jobs in other sectors. These policies will be especially devastating for ex-cons seeking entry-level work.


Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.