Sunday, June 6, 2010

American Power Act

On October 24, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), joined NOAA representatives at a kickoff event for the Fisher Slough Marsh Restoration Project in Fisher Slough, Washington. NOAA awarded The Nature Conservancy $5.2 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to restore Fisher Slough Marsh, critical to Chinook, Chum, and Coho salmon, in the Skagit River floodplain.

June 4, 2010

The Honorable Senator Maria Cantwell
825 Jadwin Avenue, Suite 205
Richland, WA 99352

RE: Energy and the Environment

Dear Senator Cantwell;

I am writing to urge you to support legislation to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels and foreign sources of oil, and encourage the development of alternative, i.e., “green” sources of energy, including nuclear power.

There are currently no alternative energy sources – solar, wind, nuclear, or what have you – that, as things stand, are more economical than fossil fuels, because, as you know, their true costs are not reflected in the price we pay for electric power, gasoline, or the many other petroleum-based products we consume. Those costs are familiar to anyone who pays attention: catastrophic health effects, including death; constraints on our foreign policy options; degradation and destruction of the environment; and a real and growing threat to the livability of our planet due to global warming. Even nuclear energy, which many consider a green alternative, has unresolved cost, indemnification, and waste disposal issues.

We seem only to pay attention when 29 coal miners die in West Virginia, or massive amounts of oil spew into the Gulf, but the sad fact is that the long-term consequences of our profligate, wasteful, and just plain stupid use of resources has seriously and perhaps irrevocably degraded the environment and, in turn, our quality of life.

Until the true cost of fossil fuels is reflected in their price, there will be no inherent, and therefore sustainable incentive for the development of alternative sources of energy in the U.S. Other countries, including China, are investing in green energy sources and technology, and leaving the U.S. behind in what will become a green revolution. We must move forward on intelligent and far-reaching energy legislation NOW.

The Kerry-Lieberman “American Power Act” isn’t perfect, but it’s a start. Please work for its passage.


 / s /

Richard V. Badalamente
Kennewick, Washington

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