Comment from Hardt, Dr. Mark
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. Montana is known as Big Sky Country. A big sky has sun and it has wind. Invest in them. I keep hearing the argument that 'there's jobs to be made it that coal'. The fact is, coal is not labor intensive as it was 40, 50, or 60 years ago. Yes there are jobs, but not in the numbers as in the past. 'There's jobs in the sun, and there's jobs in the wind'. Don't let them blow away with the wind. Climate science overwhelmingly advocates for a reduction in carbon levels in the atmosphere in order to combat the effects of global warming. I call on you to take a stand for a better, cleaner, healthier future by adopting these critical points into the final Sixth Power Plan. Thank You.