Bill Should Address Jobs and Environment

Appeared in the Ft. Collins Coloradoan on January 17, 2010

The Fort Collins Sustainability Group, or FCSG, recently sent the following letter to Sen. Michael Bennet:

Thank you for meeting with members of the Fort Collins environmental community on Jan. 5. The FCSG appreciated the opportunity to share our thoughts and to hear those of others on critical environmental issues.

We’d like to highlight the following ideas brought forward during that meeting:

The carbon emissions reductions in proposed Senate legislation are insufficient to keep global climate change in check.

At a minimum, the United States should reduce its carbon emissions by 35 percent by 2020 with respect to current levels, as recommended by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

A carbon tax may be superior to the “cap and trade” policy the Senate is currently considering. Proceeds from such a tax could be redistributed or used to develop infrastructure to help us break our dependence on fossil fuels.

A national renewable energy standard and feed-in tariffs would promote the use of renewable energy.

Mass transit, including Front Range commuter rail would help lower carbon emissions in the transport sector.

Addressing global climate change is critical in order to avoid environmental catastrophe and also provides an opportunity to put people back to work. After the economic meltdown of 2008, it’s clear that the “free market” is incapable of providing for the common welfare by itself. The government has an important role to play both in creating employment and addressing environmental problems. The climate bill should do both of these things.

Kevin Cross, convener, on behalf of the Fort Collins Sustainability Group
(Coloradoan letter Jan 17, 2009)

Author: Rick Casey

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