All levels of government should take climate stand

  • Tuesday, February 6, 2018 2:34pm
  • Opinion

Elected leaders at all levels of government are taking stands on global warming.

Last month, the city of Langley became the 21st municipality in the nation to endorse a resolution calling on Congress to address climate change. The resolution urges Congress to “acknowledge the serious threat posed by climate change, and support measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a clear, transparent and effective way.”

Last week, a carbon tax plan was an important step in the state Senate.

One can argue the effect these measures, but our leaders need to be considering and exploring ways to battle climate change.

It’s time for the Oak Harbor City Council, the Coupeville Town Council and Island County Board of Commissioners to join the effort. Perhaps the elected officials can consider endorsing the Citizen’s Climate Lobby carbon fee-and-dividend proposal or find ways to reduce the their government’s carbon footprint. Perhaps they can come up with new and creative efforts.

Need for carbon reduction and clean energy solutions is a message that people should be hearing from their leaders, whether city council members or state senators.

It’s vital that conservative voices ring loud and clear on this issue. Much of the resistance to doing something meaningful about climate change has come from conservatives who either doubt that climate change is man-made or worry that regulations will affect the economy negatively.

The science is clear that climate change is largely caused by people increasing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, whether it’s from burning fossil fuels or cutting the trees that absorb carbon from the atmosphere.

Instead of trimming incentives for clean technology, the government should be exploring ways to incentivize and promote innovation in the kinds of technologies that may someday save the planet.

There will be much debate about the carbon tax plan passed by the state Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee, as well as the impact it may have on the economy.

Gov. Jay Inslee originally proposed a $20 per ton of emitted carbon tax, with exemptions for certain manufacturers, agricultural industries and airplane jet fuel.

The plan may not be perfect, but it places the economic burden for causing the global environmental crisis in the laps of many of those doing the damage.

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