No Marsha, No One is Trying To Ban Pal’s

Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn recently dropped some shocking news about the Green New Deal. Appearing on Fox Business, the Junior Senator said the deal would bring an end to FedEx, steaks, and even hamburgers!

“If they had their way, FedEx would be out of business. So all of these packages that people are getting from online shopping, that delivery would come to an end.

You would see cattle farming — the biggest part of our Ag Sector in Tennessee — that would come to an end. You couldn’t go grab a steak or a hamburger because they would end that cattle farming. And I don’t know about you, but Pal’s or Bell’s in Tennessee, that make great hamburgers…I like to pick one of those up.”

Watch the clip below, posted from Twitter account, and hear for yourself…

For those not familiar, Pal’s tiny neon-blue hamburger drive-thrus are sprinkled across East Tennessee. Their menu is simple; their service crazy fast. I’m partial to the Big Pal with cheese. My daughter prefers a toasted cheese — plain, of course.

Pal’s on Bristol Highway in Johnson City, TN (Photo credit: Christine Lafferty)

Marsha Blackburn says that will all go away via the Green New Deal. No more FedEx. No more steaks. No more cows. No more Pal’s.

Marsha. Marsha. Marsha.

You and I both know that cows aren’t going anywhere. And Pal’s is going to continue serving up Chipped Hams and Sauceburgers for a long time to come.

The line Marsha and others continue to take out of context and manipulate to scare the hamburger-loving public is a quote from an early draft of the Green New Deal FAQ:

“We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.”

The tongue-in-cheek reference to not being able to “fully get rid of farting cows” is an acknowledgement that cows aren’t going anywhere, that our agriculture industry is not only an important part of our economy, but produces food that many Americans rely on. (One should note that the bill itself has no mention of cows, nor their flatulence.)

We’ve become accustomed to certain things in our lives—things that are an integral part of our culture and society. Or, as Bill Gates put it in his foundation’s Annual Letter, “It’s not realistic to think that people will simply stop using fertilizer, running cargo ships, building offices, or flying airplanes.”

But the stark reality is that our agriculture industry accounts for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions. So we need to find some way to offset the negative impact that has on our environment. We need to make some investments today that will move us towards 100% renewable energy sources in the future, reducing emissions over time until we can reach a “net zero.”

The Green New Deal is a bold piece of legislation that looks to do just that by making meaningful investments in Manufacturing, Transportation, Buildings, our Power Infrastructure, and our Agriculture Sector. And it’s something that most Americans are behind, with more than 80% supporting almost all of its key ideas.

Here in the majestic mountains of East Tennessee we love our Pal’s. But we also love hanging out in Founders Park, hiking up Buffalo Mountain, mountain biking at Tannery Knobs, and visiting our state’s many lakes and parks. We love clean air and clean water. We love fishing and kayaking in waterways that are free of pollution. And we want all of those things that we love to stay—not just for us, but for future generations.

That’s why it’s imperative that we take action now to address these issues, many which have been ignored or placed by the wayside for decades. We cannot continue to procrastinate on these important issues, to deny that they exist, or to distract with hamburger scare-tactics. As the old proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Founders Park — Johnson City, TN