Over the past few years, there’s been a nationwide movement to place fees, taxes or even ban altogether those pesky, environmentally unfriendly plastic bags that you get at the grocery store. You know, the ones that take up way too much space in landfills and your utility room cabinet.
Naturally, our state’s elected leaders are now taking steps to make sure those bags always have a home in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma lawmakers are considering legislation to prevent cities and towns from imposing a fee on single-use plastic and paper bags, a measure that officials in one Oklahoma community say encroaches on their search for an innovative way to protect the environment from the problems of carelessly discarded bags.
Oklahoma is one of at least five states where lawmakers are considering pre-empting local governments from taxing or banning plastic bags that are used to carry everything from groceries to clothing and cosmetics, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website. Eleven other states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida, already have pre-emptions laws in place, the NCSL said.
You know your state is in the wrong when Florida is more ahead of the environmental curve.
This bill was proposed by State Senator and Sean Hannity’s bastard son James Leewright R-Bristow. He’s the Einstein who got in a fight over a legislative aide at the Barrell. Leave it to a God-fearing man from Bristow to not give a single shit about the environment.
Leewright’s bill applies to bags, cups, packages, containers and bottles that are made of cloth, paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum and glass. It’s supported by the Oklahoma Coalition for Uniformity of Commerce, a coalition of 16 retail, manufacturing and business groups that claims municipal bag ordinances will reduce consumer choice and increase the cost of groceries and packaged food.
“All of that is really an added burden to our retailers,” said Kiley Raper, CEO of the Oklahoma Retail Merchants Association.
Oh, I’m terribly sorry it’s a burden on the retailers. Pardon me for not being more considerate to your artificial needs. I was just distracted by the fact that the landfills will now be sure to grow into something larger and more permanent.
I don’t mind if Oklahoma lawmakers are going to be puppets for larger organizations; but do it on your own time and not with my tax dollars. If you want to get funding from big plastic, then quit your job and move to their facility. Leave the open seat for someone who wants to do what’s best for Oklahomans.