Letters to the Editor

In November, 7 members of the volunteer group Citizens Climate Lobby sat in our representative’s office in the Rayburn House Office building in D.C. and asked Andy Harris to co-sponsor H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. When passed, the bill will put a gradually-increasing fee on fossil fuel in the U.S. All the money from the fee will be distributed in equal shares to all citizens (kids get 1/2 share). The goal is to reward producers and consumers who avoid greenhouse fuels by improving efficiency and switching to renewable energy. Who doesn’t want to be rewarded for good behavior?

Dr. Harris said he liked many aspects of the bill but was concerned that the equal-for-all dividend would disadvantage rural constituents who typically use more gasoline of necessity because of longer distances and fewer transportation choices.

That got me thinking: are there benefits to rural living which might offset the extra consumption of gas? Two things come to mind — roof tops and backyards, things most apartment dwellers can only wish for. Could sunshine and the year-round 60 degree heat under our lawns give us an advantage in the race to clean energy and efficiency?

My solar panels went up almost 5 years ago. They power the entire house and 20,000 miles of driving. Solar prices have come down since then. Electric motors are simpler and less expensive than gas engines; when the high price of lithium batteries comes down in a few years, electric cars will be cheaper to buy as well as operate. Maryland and the federal government both have incentives to help with insulation, geothermal heat pumps, solar electric, even electric cars. All the money saved by eliminating electric, propane, oil and gasoline bills each month, just might cover the loan payment on all the improvements; after 6 to 10 years when the payments are finished, the panels will give another decade or two of energy-bill-free living.

Needed: some adventurous souls who want to save the planet and some money: to walk into the bank and find out just how much that sunlight on their house/barn/store roof is worth. And when you find out, give Dr. Harris a call and let him know. When it comes to energy, perhaps rural people can’t afford NOT to innovate.

(1) comment

vsammons

That is the problem we have throughout government. LOBBYIST - "attempt by individuals or private interest groups to influence the decisions of government". These lobbyist do not have the average constituents at heart and only their profits on both sides of the aisle.

While I am all for renewable resources as they become viable, they should not be subsidies by anyone. They simply should be so viable that everyone would want to use them (cost effective to produce and use). When the cost is more than fossil fuels we will continue to use current resources until they dry up and we have no other choices. While I do not support the entire end of the world climate change scenario, we should continue to work toward cleaner air and water across the globe when ever it is feasible. Ultimately people make choices based on cost. It is up to that industry to make it cost effective without public subsidies. This includes coming up with clever ways to market and finance these new technologies. Government should not be involved in American citizens choices of energy. Lobbyist should use there money on marketing, not harassing politicians.

While many countries continue drive towards cleaner air and water, there are many that do not and they are the ones we need to scale back trade with until they are more complaint with just basic pollution standards. China and India are two of the bigger problems. This is why China needs tariffs for a better trade deal for America and the rest of the world. They get away with slave labor and minimal pollution controls unlike American and other countries that have strong pollution controls and worker protections. Tariffs helps level the playing fields for not only workers but also pollution controls for the world. I would suspect more folks on climate change agenda would back President trump for his tariffs on China and others for better outcome not only for America but for the rest of the world. Remember America has came a long way on this and it is not fair for other countries that do not to leverage their financial gain over American products that play by the rules.

TRUMP 2020

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