Saturday, October 23, 2021

Green energy jobs are good paying jobs

| March 5, 2021 7:00 AM

To the editor:

In reading Gov. Greg Gianforte’s recent State of the State address, I appreciated his emphasis on getting businesses open and generating good-paying jobs.

He told a story about a school trip to Montana about 45 years ago and how that influenced him to make this state his home. They hiked to Grasshopper Glacier. But with the rapid rise in Montana’s average temperature over the decades our glaciers are disappearing faster than they would without climate change.

Today, Grasshopper “Glacier” is icy remnants. What glaciers will future generations of Montanans see?

Montana’s temperature is rising from decades of burning fossil fuels — coal, natural gas, oil — which add extra carbon dioxide to our atmosphere. Year-by-year, like adding a fresh coat of paint to an old house, carbon dioxide has built up, trapping more heat. Unfortunately, we cannot scrape away carbon dioxide like we can layers of old paint.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has stated that market-based approaches to climate change create huge business opportunities. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act puts a fee on fossil fuel producers. Citizens will receive money from the fees to freely spend as they wish.

Montana has a treasure trove of wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal opportunities, which could create good-paying energy jobs. Cash-in-pocket from carbon dividends creates customers for our businesses.

Ask our congressional delegation — U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines — to support the Energy Innovation Act to help our Governor reach his goal.

Robin Paone