By John Celock
A Missouri state House committee advanced legislation Thursday to ban the United Nations’ sustainability agenda in order to prevent policies like those in the San Francisco Bay area from coming to Missouri.
State Rep. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove) told the House Downsizing State Government Committee that his legislation would prohibit the use of state funds to implement parts of the sustainability plan, known as Agenda 21, in the state. The bill is the latest in a series of anti-Agenda 21 bills that have been proposed in recent years in state legislatures nationally. Moon said the U.N. plan, which was signed in 1992 but does not contain the force of law in the United States, could lead to restrictions in private property rights. Video of the hearing was posted online by Progress Missouri.
“We the citizens of the great state of Missouri should manage it how we like,” Moon told committee members about private property.
Moon told the committee about two issues that caused concern to him about the future of private property. He said that one Missouri resident was not prevented from working on his land by the Environmental Protection Agency because mud puddles had formed on the land. Moon said the EPA said that since birds had landed in the mud puddles, along with other organisms using that water, the land was a protected watershed.
Moon also cited concerns about development issues in the San Francisco area, saying that more multi-family housing had been built in that region with a reduction of single-family home construction. Moon told fellow lawmakers that the many trends from other states gravitate around the country and that what is being seen in San Francisco development could come to Missouri.
Moon was joined by other anti-Agenda 21 activists in pushing the legislation, which has been discussed in Missouri before. Last year, the Republican-controlled state House passed similar legislation.
Agenda 21 has long been a lightening rod for some on the right, who have argued that the plan would seize control of private property and force Americans to move into walkable communities. Agenda 21 was signed by former President George H.W. Bush and has been backed by successors. The John Birch Society has led opposition to the legislation nationally.
When questioned by committee members on how Agenda 21 is being implemented in the United States, if it is not a federal law, he said that presidents have found ways. He claimed that President Bill Clinton’s sustainability panel used Agenda 21 as a blueprint to develop policies. Committee members objected to the claim.
“Nothing is required by U.N. pronouncements,” Rep. John Wright (D-Rocheport) said.
Democrats on the panel expressed concern over Moon’s legislation and the potential problems he outlined.
“It is a political boogeyman,” Rep. Vicki Englund (D-St. Louis) said of Agenda 21. “It is a way of encapsulating all property rights arguments into a scary federal government thing.”