Free Market Friday: Unions rally for oil money

By: Michael C. Carnuccio

The school-employee labor unions have never been terribly friendly toward the oil and gas industry.

For example, the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, said it believes our outmoded fossil-fuel energy system simultaneously speeds environmental degradation and threatens our security. The union said it’s time to reduce the use of fossil fuel.

The latest resolutions from the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association, are similarly unfriendly. Indeed, they read like they were written by President Barack Obama himself. Lots of talk about sustainability, global climate change, the need for green jobs, and so on.

Here at home, the school-employee labor unions and other members of the education community are planning a big rally at the state Capitol on Monday.

“This year the Oklahoma Legislature and Gov. Fallin will decide the fate of tax incentives for horizontal and deep well drilling,” the Oklahoma Education Association said. “At stake is over $300 million in potential state revenue that could be made available for education and other core services of government.”

Unfortunately, this has little to do with teachers, other than once again using them as pawns in a bureaucratic power play. The son of a public school teacher and someone who has taught classes himself, I find it offensive that from 1998 to 2011, Oklahoma’s school district administration has grown by 49 percent while the number of students in its public schools increased by only 6 percent.

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