Tonawanda News — I’ve got nothing but respect for coal miners for doing a dangerous, difficult job. But the reality is those jobs will fall by the wayside no matter what we do. A century from now burning coal to make electricity will seem as antiquated as using actual torches to light the streets at night. Technology will make coal obsolete. So why not use the power of the federal government to transition our energy infrastructure to more economically viable and environmentally necessary forms of energy production?
The reality is the cost to produce solar energy has dropped substantially, as has wind power. The debate over the environmental ramifications from drilling for natural gas using hydraulic fracturing remains intense with both sides presenting arguments for and against it. But if we can find a way to do it safely — and incumbent in saying that is offering concrete proof to an American public rightfully skeptical of energy companies’ claims — it would also help build the bridge to a clean energy future.
It’s head-in-the-sand politics — a particularly crass version of it, I might add — when men and women seeking to win votes bash sensible government policies aimed at reducing our carbon footprint, preserving a planet for future generations and creating an economy that includes better paying jobs in the process.
We can replace the jobs in the fossil fuel sectors with smarter ones that will last for more than a generation while stemming the effects of climate change before it’s really too late.
Strip away the politics of self preservation and it’s a win for all parties involved. The American people know it. Now it’s just a matter of making those opposed to it pay a political price for their position on an issue so many of us see as a no-brainer.
Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter, @EricRDuVall.Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter, @EricRDuVall.