Rep. Sally Kern bristled Wednesday evening when her bill to prohibit Oklahoma communities from having anything to do with the United Nations Agenda 21 plan was compared with a 1930s horror radio show.
“This is not a joke,” said Kern, R-Oklahoma City. “It's very real.”
The House eventually voted 67-17, mostly along party lines, to pass House Bill 1412, which would prohibit any city, town or county from adopting or implementing policy recommendations established by the United Nations Agenda 21 sustainable development action plan. It is a nonbinding, voluntarily implemented action plan regarding sustainable development.
HB 1412 also would prohibit the state from contracting with or exchanging funds with a nongovernmental or intergovernmental organization accredited by the U.N. The bill is headed to the Senate.
Kern said several Oklahoma cities belonged to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, which she said is part of the Agenda 21 plan.
A check of the council's website showed no Oklahoma cities or towns were listed as members.
Kern said the end goal of the Agenda 21 plan is to acquire property rights and to get Americans to stop driving their vehicles, mostly because they burn fossil fuels. She said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which last year came out with guidelines claiming some dust is a pollutant, is following the Agenda 21 plan.
Rep. Mike Shelton began his debate opposing HB 1412 by reading from a script of Orson Welles' 1938 radio play of “War of the Worlds.”
“When he read that over the radio, there was mass hysteria,” said Shelton, D-Oklahoma City. “People believed that they were being taken over by aliens.
“And today we are being asked to believe that Agenda 21 is taking over America,” he said. “I want to go home and eat dinner. We've got 92 bills left on the calendar and we are talking about somebody taking over the state of Oklahoma.”
Shelton, noting that Thursday was the last day for the House to act on bills to send to the Senate, pleaded with the Republican-controlled House to oppose HB 1412 and avoid being the brunt of jokes from late-night television show hosts.
“Agenda 21 is a gimmick,” Shelton said. “Nobody's trying to take over. Nobody's trying to make us go out and build tracks and get healthy.”
“This is not a conspiracy issue,” Kern said. “It is something that is happening in our country. It is happening in our state. Unfortunately it is happening all over the world. … I know it sounds weird, but hey, it's true.”