Letter: Put ideology aside in addressing climate change
To the editor:
Deb Pasternak's Feb. 4 opinion piece ("A dirty bridge to nowhere") is a perfect encapsulation of the ideological rigidity that has ironically left Massachusetts paying the highest energy costs in the continental U.S. for some of the dirtiest energy.
Any climate discussion should start with the biggest reason our emissions have been headed in the wrong direction these last few years: transportation. According to the Commission on the Future of Transportation, Massachusetts only has about 12,000 electric vehicles out of 2.4 million cars on the road. But Pasternak makes no mention of this, or the demands electrification of vehicles would place on our already-taxed electric grid.
Nor does she mention that the amount of oil and coal we burn during the winter and the summer months is making matters worse. In two weeks last winter alone, we wiped out two year's worth of solar emission benefits because we burned millions of barrels of oil during a single cold snap.
Pasternak avoids these issues because she knows that the only answer to either problem is to increase access to cleaner, low-carbon alternatives like natural gas. As the Boston Globe editorial page put it, "Climate change is serious enough that a more practical response is needed, one that considers all emissions and strategically uses every tool available to reduce them."
As businesses and civic organizations committed to fighting climate change, we agree — and that's why we've joined the Mass Coalition for Sustainable Energy. At a moment when as much as a third of our electricity is already at risk of coming offline, the time has come to put ideology aside so we can end our reliance on oil and coal, lower energy costs and pave the way to a lower carbon future.
Oliva is president and CEO of the Cape Cod Canal Regional Chamber of Commerce. O'Rourke is president and CEO of the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce. Stanley is executive director of the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce.
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