Letter: The fossil fuel industry is functionally an unchecked government

FILE- In this Nov. 29, 2006, file photo, steam rises from the huge boiler units at the coal-fired Jim Bridger Power Plant east of Rock Springs, Wyo. Wyoming's governor is promoting a Trump administration study that says capturing carbon dioxide emitted by coal-fired power plants would be an economical way to curtail the pollution — findings questioned by a utility that owns the plants and wants to shift away from the fossil fuel in favor of wind and solar energy. Supporters say carbon capture would save coal by pumping carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas emitted by power plants — underground instead of into the atmosphere. (Jeff Gearino/The Casper Star-Tribune via AP)

The ideas in and behind the write-in letter in favor of the Baker-Shultz plan deserved a response.

The real Republican response to climate change is market focused.

The Baker-Shultz plan is promoted as a better climate change response. The opening addresses global warming, minimizes it, and then takes a “market” stance that would make Adam Smith sob. The plan entirely misses the opportunity to let the market actually respond.

Carbon dividends and taxes aren’t like cigarette taxes. Sin taxes reduce the number of people addicted to poison. We’re already dependent. It’s already killing us and isn’t slowing. If Coca-Cola still had cocaine in it, everyone was addicted, and they didn’t even have to label it for kids, the response wouldn’t be “Pay a fee.” or “Please limit the cocaine to 50mg a can.” The response is to stop giving them money. Clean energy is getting cheaper anyway. If the alternative to regulation is the market then we should actually use the market, regulation or not. These companies are awful and don’t care. Move the money.

Investing in alternatives and the surrounding infrastructure not only increases competition and supports a better product, but also means more jobs in the community. With the economy last year this went from important to essential.

Political parties help politicians first and always have. Washington warned about them for a reason. Nevertheless, good ideas such as helping the middle class, smart economics and taking responsibility, are supposed to be conservative principles. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is functionally an unchecked government, even without the fact that it owns ours. Any conservative in favor of bad policy in the name of fossil fuels isn’t really following the principles that got them elected and certainly can’t call anyone a RINO.

Isaac Tanner, Bountiful

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