Comment from Claypool, Lynda
The Northwest is on the cusp of being a national leader in addressing climate change, and improving our health and environment. I applaud the Council's decision to include strong energy efficiency targets in the draft 6th power plan, but we must go farther. 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, and we cannot truly solve climate change without taking substantive steps to end our reliance on the biggest culprit in global warming pollution coal. Council staff has performed an analysis that shows the way. The Northwest can become coal free by 2020 in steps that are both achievable and affordable. Most of these emails will emphasize climate change, as does mine. I would also like to point out some of the other effects of coal burning power plants. In my 20 years as an ambulance paramedic, I've seen asthma rise from an infrequent diagnosis to a pervasive one--I now have a mild form myself. I've watched Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens change from stunning vistas to hazy hulks for about half of the year. I've listened to talk about acid rain since I was a teenager, and now about changing pH of sea water, which in turn is effecting the food chain. There is so much about our quality of life that could be improved with appropriate, and yes aggressive, attention to air quality.