Letter to the editor: Real cost will come from ignoring climate changeRep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., mortgaged our future in favor of political expedience with his recent vote against H.R. 2454 (aka the American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009). This bill aimed at accelerating the development of renewable energy while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that all of the leading national scientific academies in the western world have warned are leading to climate instability.
By: Joe Richardson, The Jamestown Sun
Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., mortgaged our future in favor of political expedience with his recent vote against H.R. 2454 (aka the American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009). This bill aimed at accelerating the development of renewable energy while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that all of the leading national scientific academies in the western world have warned are leading to climate instability. Leading economists and flag-grade military officers have warned of the economic and national security dangers of continued emissions driving climate change. The world’s largest insurance corporations have published reports on the dire impacts of increasingly severe climate events caused by our continued increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Dr. Hans Blix, the renowned international nuke hunter, said in January of 2007: “global warming is a greater threat than WMDs (weapons of mass destruction).”
At a recent conference in Bismarck, Pomeroy said that he voted against the H.R. 2454 because it would be hard on the economy of North Dakota and that the technology that allowed for sequestering carbon dioxide “has not been invented yet.” Never mind that Basin has been sequestering carbon dioxide for years. Never mind that Michael Morris, chairman and CEO of American Electric Power, one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the country, was at the same conference and said it wasn’t for lack of technology, but lack of regulatory policy that more carbon sequestration wasn’t happening. Also at the conference was Preston Chiaro, past chairman of World Coal Institute and current CEO of Energy Group of Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest mining companies. He too corrected Pomeroy’s misunderstanding of the state of sequestration technology. Where is Pomeroy getting the bad information upon which he is basing critical votes?
Nothing will better accelerate the development of billions of dollars of wind and bio-energy across all of North Dakota than the requirement to reduce carbon emissions from traditional sources and methods of energy production. In pure BTUs, our wind resource, if fully developed is the equal to running through the entire 800-year state coal reserves in less than 20 years. Our largest energy play is wind, rivaled only by our bio-energy potential. Our energy economy is huge and ahead of us if we can keep the past from blocking that future.
Many a politician and energy company executive will be long retired when the real cost comes due from ignoring or delaying response to the known and looming climate catastrophe. When it is time for today’s young to pay they might rightly ask, “how could this happen?” Answer: “our greed and your silence.”