Letter to the editor | A more meaningful legacy

September 12, 2013 

The writer of a letter in Friday’s CDT took the climate debate to a new and hyperbole-laden level, remonstrating that “anything short of regulations and plans to wean us away from a carbon-based economy are the real killers,” and that “if our leaders don’t take strong action on climate change, they are guilty of leaving a devastating and deadly legacy.”

One might add that a worthy legacy should involve a meaningful accomplishment.

While anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions probably do affect climate, the writer should be aware that CO2 regulations in the U.S. would artificially increase the cost of U.S. energy and further reduce U.S. competitiveness in the global economy, with the unintended consequence of more U.S. jobs being exported to countries such as China and India, where CO2 control is far, far down the list of environmental priorities.

Our country — without carbon tax or “cap and trade” — has already reduced its CO2 emissions from energy use to 1996 levels.

And unilateral U.S. CO2 controls would have no material impact on global CO2 levels.

Rather than being disparaged, our political leaders should be encouraged to continue supporting Department of Energy programs aimed at utilizing fossil fuels more efficiently and reducing the cost of capturing and sequestering CO2 from their use.

In a related development, voters in Australia this week demonstrated their displeasure with carbon taxation by voting out a leading advocate, now former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and voting in Tony Abbott, who has promised carbon-tax repeal.

Jim Sorensen, Boalsburg

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