NOTE TO READERS: After recent reader response to a Feb. 11 letter to the editor, titled "Vision for city, county future is a stretch" and upon reflection about that feedback, we regret having run the letter. The Opinion pages of the Times Free Press and our Letters to the Editor provide a forum for community members to express a wide range of perspectives about important issues. Sometimes what appears can be hurtful to read; other times, opinions and letters are celebratory. In this particular case, we failed to adhere to our standards. We have removed the letter from the paper's website. We apologize. This story was updated March 6, 2019, at 4:55 p.m.
D.C. support for clean energy needed now
We need to encourage the use of cleaner, cheaper, renewable fuels. I appreciate the TFP publishing two editorials in January about the urgent need to do something to abate climate change.
The first pointed out that reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment should not be a partisan, political issue. We all have a vested interest in keeping our planet habitable. The second said that the hope for our future is to stop building any new fossil fuel infrastructure. It said we have the ability to do this; we just need the will.
I am writing to suggest an important step to take to make those things happen. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act (HR 763) is a bipartisan proposal. It will reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 40 percent in the first 12 years. It puts a fee on fossil fuel use, which creates incentives for companies to move to cleaner fuels. The fees collected will go directly to the American people, as a carbon dividend each month in our pockets. It will create more than 2 million new jobs.
We are running out of time to make these changes. I urge Rep. Fleischmann to support this bill. I ask all of you to ask your congressional representatives to do the same.
F. Kate Anthony, Ringgold, Ga.
Ocasio-Cortez not person Hart paints
Ron Hart's recent op-ed piece attacking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and climate change illustrates why such pieces are best avoided. Rather than seriously addressing the issue, he spends much of the article engaging in an offensive attack on the congresswoman.
He mischaracterizes her as having a dubious liberal arts degree from a party school. In fact, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez graduated from Boston University with a degree in economics and international relations. Boston University is a selective school that boasts several Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and Rhodes scholars among its alumni and faculty.
Mr. Hart also berates the congresswoman for having student debt, which is a common enough occurrence in today's world. He also links her to ideologies and world leaders she would, no doubt, repudiate.
Curiously, Mr. Hart himself does not refer to contemporary science in his counter argument but to history, which makes one wonder about his own credentials.
Surely the public needs more than character assassination and appeals to the past in understanding an important issue facing us now and in the future.
Dr. Rick Mathis, Soddy-Daisy