Letter to the editor: Cap-and-trade legislation will help us protect environmentEvery day I see a TV ad, “Stop Cap and Trade.” This ad is sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and claims three so-called “Facts.” These “facts” are:
By: Richard Gross, Grand Forks, The Jamestown Sun
Every day I see a TV ad, “Stop Cap and Trade.” This ad is sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and claims three so-called “Facts.” These “facts” are:
1. The federal government says cap and trade will slow the economy and cost American jobs.
2. The Treasury Department says it could cost as much as $200 billion.
3. Cap and trade will mean higher electric bills.
I did some research and what I found was interesting. First, I found that Americans for Prosperity was founded by, and is largely funded by, Koch Industries. Koch Industries, and its sister company, Koch Holdings, own a group of companies invested in oil refineries, chemicals, coal, minerals, etc. It is the largest privately owned energy company in the U.S. It has holdings in about 60 countries. I see here another example of big business putting its own financial interests ahead of the common good.
As for the so-called facts:
1. Fact Check says, “Numerous recent studies find that comprehensive clean energy and climate action will create upwards of 1.7 million new jobs…”
2. The nonpartisan fact-checking Web site Politifact.com says the Treasury Department never said, “it could cost as much as $200 billion.” That statement is flat out wrong. As a matter of fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates it would create a $21 billion surplus over the next 10 years.
3. Fact Check says that comprehensive clean energy and climate action will generally save money on electric bills.
Personally, I know my energy bills have gone up, and will keep going up, even without a clean energy bill.
Perhaps the proposed cap-and-trade legislation is not perfect. There are alternatives. As I understand it, the cap and trade bill would reward those who are conscientious and take care of the environment. Those who don’t would bear the cost. An alternative could be to tax companies for the amount of greenhouse gases they emit. Or the EPA could set standards, which if broken would result in fines. I believe the Cap and Trade would have the least amount of government involvement. This bill would also benefit our farmers, who play a large role in pulling carbon from the atmosphere. I do not believe that those who pollute the atmosphere will stop unless they are forced to.
I see this whole thing as a serious moral issue. As responsible stewards of the earth we have no choice. We need to move to clean energy. We owe it to God, to ourselves and to future generations to take care of all God has given us. Abraham Lincoln once said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”