Published in the November 21, 2019 edition.



If you thought the local plastic bag ban passed by the town a couple of years ago was bad, take heart. It’s about to get a lot worse.

The Massachusetts Legislature is considering a measure that would ban plastic bags statewide. The State Senate is now debating the legislation before it moves on to the House.

Senate President Karen Spilka announced the bill this week. Apparently, they weren’t able to find a 14-year-old girl to cry on cue about the sea turtles, so Spilka was pressed into action.

The bill would preempt local bylaws banning plastic bags that have been passed in 100 or so cities in towns in Massachusetts, including Wakefield. So, unlike now, where you can walk into Farmland and get a free paper bag for your purchases, under the proposed state law, retailers would be required to charge you at least 10 cents for a paper bag.

There are limits to how far local politicians will go to irritate voters that they might run into at CVS or Walgreens. But state legislators don’t care. They know they can make you pay for paper bags, take away your plastic straws and foam cups, slap a “carbon tax” on gasoline and you’ll still keep voting for them.

The statewide ban is being sold as a measure to reduce waste, but it’s really just another front in the war on fossil fuels, which at its root is a war on human progress.

The main raw materials used to make plastic are crude oil and natural gas. So naturally, the same people who hate fossil fuels also hate plastic bags, and all kinds of plastic. Despite their claims, it has nothing to do with litter or sea creatures. It has everything to do with destroying the fossil fuel industry. And since our species caused the imminent climate catastrophe by using fossil fuels to improve billions of lives, human beings must also be punished. No more plastic straws for you!

The war on fossil fuels continues on the local front.

Wakefield currently has a moratorium on natural gas connections for new multifamily buildings because the Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department can’t get enough cheap natural gas here to meet the demand. It’s not that there isn’t enough gas. The US produces plenty. In some states they are actually burning off the excess through a process known as “flaring.”

But environmentalists won’t let us build the pipeline capacity to bring more of the cheapest, cleanest fossil fuel to the Northeast to be used to heat homes and generate electricity.

Good luck heating your home with a heat pump when its 20 degrees outside.

Meanwhile, MGLD customers will soon be subsidizing the cost and installation of three electric vehicle charging stations for the three-dozen local EV owners and the 18,000 electric vehicles in Massachusetts.

To put that in perspective, the number of Wakefield drivers who don’t own electric vehicles is greater than the total number of electric vehicles in the entire state. But they’re still going to be paying for the infrastructure to charge them.

We’re told the world will end in a dozen or so years if we don’t address climate change yesterday. But in fact, if we eliminated fossil fuels tomorrow as the advocates demand, human life as we know it would end in about 12 weeks.

We would be unable to use the farm machinery that feeds the world, much less transport that food the long distances to cities and other non-agricultural areas.

We wouldn’t be able to generate enough electric power to process and package all that food, much less charge your electric vehicle so you can drive with your cloth bags to a dark store with no food in it. Sorry, wind and solar can’t do it. And even if they could, it would require so much land use that any real environmentalist would blanch at the thought.

But at least there won’t be any Massachusetts plastic bags in the ocean.