Letter: Climate action plan will impose burdens on Routt Countians | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Climate action plan will impose burdens on Routt Countians

The draft Routt County Climate Action Plan has as its objectives “recognizing the need to take a more proactive role in reducing global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and help to prevent the most dire impacts from climate change.” The draft program will achieve neither objective, but it will impose serious costs and burdens on Routt County residents.

Our government has confirmed that atmospheric hydrocarbon levels for the next 20 to 50 years will be largely determined by choices made by the governments of China and India, who have stated their determination to continue to build coal-fired power plants to spur their economic development. Those governments couldn’t care less about choices that Routt County makes; they will build their power plants anyway.

Meanwhile, reducing our emissions locally will do absolutely nothing to “prevent dire impacts of climate change.“ Temperatures here will rise — and fall — as they always do, based on global weather and climate patterns, regardless of the number of solar panels or windmills that are installed in Routt County.

As to costs, mandating electrification for new homes and vehicles could be a recipe for economic disaster. No one can forecast future prices for electricity, but they are much more likely to rise than fall. Moreover, the supply of electricity will be unreliable if it is based on windmills and solar panels, because battery capacity does not exist to store electricity from those intermittent and unreliable sources for times when it is needed.

The United States is blessed with abundant supplies of natural gas and other reliable sources of energy. Routt County should not turn away from them to achieve an appearance of virtue while accomplishing nothing of any use.

Alex Makowski

Steamboat Springs

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