Out with old energy, in with new

On Whidbey Island, members of several organizations are looking for more news coverage on climate change and energy. Why? Because our nation’s top elected officials are way too silent. Although an energy and environment coalition is active in Congress, many elected officials are content with the status quo. They need and will be receiving more input from the grassroots in the New Year. We intend to advocate, steadily, and not just in response to the latest weather or fossil-fuel drilling catastrophe.

Thankfully, the president has continued to introduce improved fuel efficiency standards, and backs a strong EPA to reduce environmental degradation around producing or using fossil fuel.

What is the simplest and fastest way to reduce our dependency on fossil fuel? Taxing for added revenue is questionable. A possibility is a revenue-neutral carbon fee: gradually implemented, and returned 100 percent to citizens as an annual dividend. A variation is to offset existing taxes with a fee on carbon. Find out more from Citizens Climate Lobby, or see what British Columbia has successfully done for a couple of years now.

Other ways to put a price on carbon? Republicans often prefer using proceeds from a carbon tax to increase renewables, research and development, or to reduce the national deficit.

Please keep your eye on reducing fossil fuel use. Help keep the conversation going about how to do it! “Black gold” has simply become too valuable, or too dirty to burn, however you want to look at it.

Lee James

Whidbey Island

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