As a veteran proud to serve this great country, I was confused by President Barack Obama’s comments prioritizing climate change as an “immediate risk” and disappointed that it was praised in the May 30 editorial “Military Burden: Obama Warns of a New Climate Change Worry.”
The United States is the only country among the top energy producers to have reduced carbon emissions in the last decade. Reducing carbon emissions is a worthy goal but not an “immediate risk” military priority.
We should continue to invest in technology to evolve the coal industry as the demand grows globally. Not only can we build the American economy by exporting, but we can lead the world in clean coal technology.
The destruction of the coal industry has been targeted as the silver bullet to climate change and subsequently thousands of jobs will be lost, including mine. But carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants in the United States account for less than 4 percent of emissions globally. Developing nations are not slowing down in the production and consumption of coal.
The transportation sector has been given incremental fuel economy goals that are attainable without shuttering an entire industry. Why is coal not being afforded the same opportunity to evolve?
As we are forced to divest and our electric rates are raised, jobs in manufacturing and production — good jobs, the jobs I fought to defend — will go overseas where electricity from coal-fired power plants is cheaper, but the process is far less environmentally friendly.
As other countries benefit on the back of coal, we will be standing alone with a weakened economy and unemployed industry, and for what gain?
TIMOTHY J. STEWART JR.
See the article here.
- On June 12, 2015