The nation's two principal black civil rights organizations were sharply at odds yesterday on the issue of deregulation of domestic oil and gas prices.
Urban League president Vernon Jordan called for price controls to be extended to all domestic oil and gas, as well as intrastate natural gas - a position which roughly coincides with president Carter's embattled energy program.
Last week the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People aligned itself with the oil industry's criticisms of Carter's deregulation and conservation policies.
While both organization endorse economic growth as the principal means of black advancement, they differ over how the government should minimize the harm rising energy prices will inflict on minorities and the poor.
Jordan, in a speech prepared for delivery to a Northern States Power Co. conference, strongly opposed the extensive development of nuclear power, strongly endorsed conservation and said there is ". . . a healthy suspicion . . ." that present prices give the industry enough incentive to develop new oil and gas supplies. Carter's positions are similar.
The NAACP, in an energy statement approved Jan. 9, said existing price controls on newly discovered oil and gas should be removed.
It also called for vigorous development of nuclear power, including the controversial fast breeder reactor. It criticized Carter's proposals to restrict industrial use of oil and natural gas, and urged that new energy taxes which he proposed be used to develop new energy sources, instead of being rebated to consumers.
Both Jordan and the NAACP criticized the government policy makers for not paying enough attention to how an energy policy would affect the lives of blacks, and for not bringing in blacks to help formulate it.
The NAACP criticized Carter's ". . . emphasis on conservation . . .," and ". . . reduction in the growth of total energy demand and consumpition."
This emphasis, the NAACP said, ". . . cannot staisfy the fundamental requirements of a society of expanding economic opportunities."
Jordan, however, said, "I disagree with those who say conservation must mean slower economic growth . . . sound conservation policies could lead to efficient use of energy at no loss of jobs or major lifestyle compromises, while avoiding the inflationary impact of energy costs."
Neither policy statement discussed how that might be achieved. But the NAACP's did not even mention the possibility of it.
Jordan's remarks also clashed with the NAACP's views on environmental pollution.
The NAACP statement criticized ". . . a myriad of government constraints on the production and use of coal . . . and nuclear power." Most of those restrains are aimed at either protecting the environment, or safe guarding people from radiation.
Jordan said "black people, the most urbanized group in the nation, have a stake in clean air and water too. We need jobs, but we also need to be healthy enough to hold those jobs . . ."
While Jordan's prepared statement did not mention the NAACP position, it alluded to it several times, such as when he stressed that "we should remember that reasonable people may differ, and differ profounly," while pursuing the same objectives.
Jordan called the Carter plan "flawed," and asked for "assurance that energy considerations will not jeopardize jobs in industries with concentrations of minority workers."