Friday, March 7, 2014

Big blunders trump small efforts

    While the city of Ketchum was busy putting together its first Energy Advisory Committee to look at how the community can use energy more wisely, Congress was busy hearing and approving a bill to strip the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases emitted by coal-fired power plants.
    Greenhouse gases are responsible for heating up the planet and changing the climate at an unprecedented pace.
    Yesterday, the House voted 229-183 to approve HR 3826. The vote was to reject the first national limits on heat-trapping pollution from future power plants and repeal EPA’s authority to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants.
    The White House says President Obama will veto the bill if it gets to his desk—and he should.
    The vote represents more than partisan disagreement. It represents a rejection of the science that shows that greenhouse gases are fueling rapid climate change. It represents a head-in-the-sand approach to the major issue of our time. It ranks coal-company profits ahead of mankind.
    Forward-looking efforts like Ketchum’s, along with Hailey’s green-certified building requirements, home-energy audit programs and bike-share program, are important on-the-ground pieces for protecting our biosphere. They acknowledge the role of individuals in pollution.
    Unfortunately, these efforts are doomed to fail unless congressmen and senators get off the dime and put the brakes on major polluters that put more damaging emissions into the air in a single day than small cities can save in decades of trying.

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