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Just say, ‘no’ to pipeline

By Staff | Dec 26, 2014

To the editor:

Opposition has been mounting against the pipeline across Iowa that will carry fracked oil southeast to Illinois and then to the Gulf Coast.

Most of the opposition has focused on concerns of disrupting fertile farmland operations, and the potential for spills that would contaminate ground water aquifers rivers and streams.

Proponents have argued that pipelines are safer than hauling oil by trains. A pipeline has not been built that didn’t spill and, the pipeline will not eliminate shipping by rail.

The burden of proof that a pipeline is safe should not be placed on the public that could be harmed.

In the era of extreme energy, industry cannot be relied on to prove that its methods are safe. It is time for us to say, “no” to pipelines, “no” to arctic drilling, “no” to the coal and oil trains, “no” to fracking, and “no” to export terminals.

In other words, no new carbon frontiers. We must leave the carbon in the ground and put more of it back into the ground.

The major reason to oppose this pipeline is climate change. The burning of fossil fuels has increased the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to more than 400 parts per million.

Adding more greenhouse gas is like adding more blankets around the earth creating a dangerous energy imbalance.

The science is crystal clear, we must stop burning fossil fuels. Construction of this pipeline is not in the best interests of life on this planet.

We need an immediate change in national policy.

Specifically, first abolish government subsidies to all fossil fuel companies. Second, place a fee of $15 per ton of carbon at its source, the mine, the well-head and the ports of entry.

Increase the fee by $10 per ton every year until it reaches $100 per ton.

Third, return 100 percent of the revenues generated to the people to help offset increases in energy cost and as an incentive to reduce our use of fossil fuels.

Such a fee and dividend approach will stimulate development of alternative renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal.

I urge the unions advocating for the pipeline because it will bring short-lived jobs to support such a fee and dividend policy rather than assist the proliferation of even more green house gas emissions.

-Erv Klaas


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