Letters: Why to pursue clean power
Terry Jarrett’s Feb. 23 guest opinion is misleading and self-serving. Mr. Jarrett is an attorney whose clients have included the National Mining Association, the Indiana Coal Council and numerous utility companies. That doesn’t make him automatically wrong, but it does make him suspect. Unfortunately many newspapers, now including the Post Independent, publish his frequent op-eds without citing his dirty energy ties.
Jarret argues against the Obama clean energy plan (CCP) plan, saying it would yield only a fifth of 1 degree reduction in global temperatures by 2100. If we accept his figure, is that a bad result? Global temperatures are presently rising at a fifth of a degree each decade, a course that projects a 1.7 degree increase in global temperatures by 2100. Implementing the CCP the USA, with about a fifth of the world’s population, would solve about 11.5 percent of the climate change problem.
If every country did as well, pretty soon, no more global warming.
OK, I’m being facetious. Global warming is complicated, not so easily stopped and my math may be sloppy. But the point remains that Jarrett portrays what would a very good result as a waste of money. I wonder why?
Jarrett also ignores other desirable CCP outcomes like cleaner air yielding improved public health, job growth in new industries and increased respect for the USA in the world community. Jarrett complains that “Colorado (which is considering its own CCP), a state that currently derives 64 percent of its power from coal … will need to build new … (cleaner) systems to backstop their projected wind and solar plants.” Ah — more new jobs in new industries that compete with dirty energy.
Why, Jarrett asks, would Colorado want to bear these costs when it is presently under no legal obligation to do so? Maybe it’s because, not all obligations are legal; maybe because it’s the right thing to do; and maybe because, if we look a few years past short-term profits for dirty energy stockholders and their lawyers, it’s actually a smart thing to do.
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