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We need laws that push clean energy

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Along with the news of steadily worsening floods in the east and fires in the west largely attributable to burning of fossil fuels, comes recent word of the opening of “America’s first offshore wind farm” producing clean renewable energy. This event holds promise of “a new American industry that could … make a huge contribution to reducing the nation’s climate changing pollution,” according to a recent article in The New York Times. What struck me most about the story was mention that this move to free us from antiquated energy technology was enabled by a law passed in 2005 by a Republican-led Congress and signed by George W. Bush.

We need more such laws, facilitating the rapid and massive development of renewables and removing government support from the dirty industries that ravage our planet, our economies, and our health. The most effective, least intrusive of these would put a fee on production of carbon fuels equivalent to the $40/ton damage to all of us caused by their burning and would let the market do the rest. Such a law, known as Carbon Fee and Dividend, has long been supported by prominent Republicans like George Schultz, Arthur Laffer, David Brooks, Ross Douthat, and Charles Krauthammer. It’s time that partisanship be separated from this issue of survival and that our elected representatives use such an approach to work together for our common good.

-- Steven Marx - San Luis Obispo

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