A closer look at green ‘extremists’ | PostIndependent.com

A closer look at green ‘extremists’

Dear Editor,

Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s column on the current Senate Energy bill in Sunday’s Denver Post was frightening because it shows how seriously he misunderstands both his voter base and the issues.

Campbell attacks those mysterious bogeymen that are the enemy of all Coloradans, the “environmental extremists.” Who are these guys? Here’s a hint: They’re members of the state’s huge tourism industry that want to protect clear vistas. They’re parents alarmed by increased incidents of asthma and other respiratory diseases who want clean air for their kids. They’re good neighbors and citizens who are just trying to get by, but don’t want to do harm in the process. They’re the vast majority of Coloradans who support renewable energy.

These dangerous folk back the provision in the Senate bill (opposed by Sen. Campbell) that 10 percent of U.S. energy supply come from renewables by 2020. The measure would reduce energy price fluctuation, cut U.S. reliance on foreign oil and create jobs in Colorado. A similar law was supported in Texas by guess who? Yep, George W. Bush. (Another “fanatic.”) The renewable energy provision is mostly an economic and national security issue; forget the environmental benefits, which are huge.

What about the cost to consumers that Campbell is nobly protecting us from? Well, the Department of Energy estimates it WILL cost more. About 20 cents per month by 2020. If you think that’s an unfair price to pay for a healthier place for your kids to grow up, unpolluted water, clearer skies, and all the other benefits renewable energy offers, then spend those extra two dimes a month on something more valuable. Like an inhaler.

Campbell’s “extremists” would also endorse a provision in the energy bill that offers tax incentives for biodiesel, a domestic energy source that can cut particulate emissions by 20 percent and help struggling farmers, while also reducing our dependence on foreign oil, at little to no cost, and maybe even at a profit.

Campbell also opposes fuel efficiency. On the roads, Coloradans who drive SUVs would welcome big, safe vehicles that get great gas mileage at a reasonable price – like Ford’s hybrid Escape, for example. They don’t drive the big cars because they use a lot of gas, or because they’re bad people; they do it because there’s no other choice that meets their needs. (Thanks, in part, to Campbell’s politics.) Fortunately, in 2004, Coloradans WILL have a choice in the U.S. Senate. And today, you can call Campbell’s office at (202) 224-5852 to support the renewable energy portfolio standard, the biodiesel tax incentive, and increased fuel efficiency standards for vehicles.


Auden Schendler


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