Reader puzzled by Ware's
lack of emissions plan
I read with interest Del. Lee Ware's critique of the Virginia Clean Energy Act ("Dominion Energy will get a blank check from the VCEA"). Regarding Ware's central question, does the lack of financial accountability for the Dominion Energy offshore wind project give me qualms, I answer "yes." As a climate activist, I am concerned about burdens to electricity ratepayers, but also concerned that voters could lose their newfound passion for climate solutions if the financial burden gets too high. It would be very bad for that to happen, because if we abandon efforts to cut carbon, we doom our grandchildren to a diminished future.
But I was extremely puzzled by the fact that Ware never suggested what he would do about carbon emissions. In fact, Ware was for many years in the majority in the House of Delegates, and his interest in reducing carbon emissions is new. I suggest "carbon fee and dividend" as a way to rapidly reduce carbon emissions that would be consistent with conservative values. Instead of inflating the profitability of wind turbines in order to get Dominion Energy to buy in, we could impose rising fees on fossil fuels to reflect their true cost to society in terms of human mortality from air pollution and climate consequences such as flooding and sea level rise. This approach makes renewable energy more attractive by making fossil fuels less attractive. Ware should ask GOP members of Congress Rob Wittman, Ben Cline, Denver Riggleman and Morgan Griffith to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which has 79 cosponsors and is nearly revenue neutral.
I would like to see climate survival and carbon emission reduction become less of a political football, something to rip out of your opponent's hands and run with until he tackles you and takes it back. All our grandchildren lose from this game. We all must sign up for the same team — our grandchildren's team.