Comment from Westphal, Natasha
The Northwest is on the cusp of being a national leader in addressing climate change and improving our health, environment, and energy future. I applaud the Council's decision to include strong energy efficiency targets in the draft Sixth Power Plan, but we must go further. We cannot truly protect ourselves from both the financial and social risks of climate change without setting a strong price for the cost of carbon, therefore I am asking you to return the Council staff's basecase carbon model of $47 per ton by 2030. And we cannot truly solve climate change without taking substantive steps to end our reliance on the biggest culprit in global warming pollution -- coal. A Council staff analysis demonstrates that the Northwest can become coal free by 2020 in steps that are both achievable and affordable. Finally, the Sixth Power Plan does not address reducing the region's carbon emissions it only seeks to stabilize them. I would like to see the Sixth Power Plan at least set forth CO2 reduction targets consistent with those targets already in place in Montana, Oregon, and Washington. I understand that a lot of people are urging support for a reduction in climate change, against the efforts of lobbyists working on behalf of the existing base of the energy industry, who would like to shove through charges that would enable them to take advantage of this recession to further their own profits. I stand with those people who are more interested in working with environmental groups to not only mimimize and eventually eliminate the nearly permanent damage created by classical energy extraction and utilization techniques, but to work to recreate the industry with a new face, while providing jobs and promoting the use of technology, which requires a highly educated workforce, which is potentially available in Montana, and can be promoted through continuing improvements in the educational system. Provide good jobs and opportunities to the youth, and the means to educate them, and they will flock to these new jobs, and be a lot happier with good challenging jobs, and will excel in their educational regime with the knowledge of what awaits them upon graduation. So please give me a break about "creating jobs" when you mean rehiring a few near retirement coal miners, or some other relics of the days of the frontier.