Editor’s note: As we head into the home stretch of this election season, the Johnson City Press is happy to print your thoughts on the candidates, but because of the volume of election-themed letters we receive, we’re setting a deadline for them of Wednesday, Oct. 31. Letters received after the deadline will not be printed. Thank you for adhering to the deadline and for your interest in participating in our democracy.
A laissez-air economy
A recent JC Press article discussed the findings of a study about tornadoes shifting further east and that scientists were not sure why. However, what the article does not say is that this is consistent with what would be expected from climate change. Weather patterns are changing. Some areas are getting hotter and drier. Others are getting wetter. The recent intense hurricanes are also evidence of this change. Increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are causing this disruption of the climate. There has been so much CO2 already released that we are locked in for a certain amount of warming even if we were to stop all emissions now.
However, there is a way that we can rapidly bring down our carbon footprint by using market forces instead of more regulation. This solution would be a revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend that would place a price on carbon where it enters the market with a payment back to all citizens as a dividend. The fee on carbon would send a clear market signal for businesses to invest in clean energy sources and the monthly dividend payment would more than offset the impact of any increase in prices. This carbon fee and dividend as proposed by the Citizen's Climate Lobby is a simple and effective solution to bringing down America's emissions fast.
When you go to vote in the midterms this year, think about the tornadoes we had 10 years ago and consider the fact that our carbon emissions may be bringing more of those dangerous storms our way and the amount of damage they can cause. Is our representative in Congress, Dr. Phil Roe, willing to take action on climate? Would he be willing to support a carbon fee and dividend bill? Would his opponent?
Although I have voted for Phil Roe as our representative in the past, he will not be getting my vote this year. Much of my decision comes from Mr. Roe’s own advice. He noted when he first ran that he would only seek five terms because he believed such a limit prevents the development of career politicians and that fresh ideas need to come from new people. He now has broken that promise and is running for his sixth term.
More than that, he has claimed “People Not Politics” on his primary signs, yet his record the past few years indicates quite the opposite. Politics has become first, people second. His handling of health care, his reactions to the mishandling of immigrant children, the shootings in Parkland and more show a man afraid to take principles over party lines. He has lost sight of the realities people in this district are facing. He has betrayed the bulwark beliefs of traditional Republicans: free trade, reducing the deficit, supporting our allies and acting as the Constitution provides, as a member of an independent branch with its checks and balances.
I’m looking for a leader to work across party lines and bring real progress to the serious problems we face. This election Marty Olsen will get my vote.