Letter to the Editor

The Energy Innovation Act

Monday, August 2, 2021

I have been anxiously watching the air quality index, hoping my asthma-prone mother will still be able to visit me this summer. Smokey days of haze seems to be becoming the new normal in late summer. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and we have the power to say no!

For decades, climate researchers have predicted an increase in extreme weather events — fires, floods, drought, heat waves, polar vortex intrusions — due to greenhouse gas production. In addition to air quality and other health impacts, this is also an economic and national security issue.

That is why I am a volunteer with the bipartisan Citizens Climate Lobby and support H.R. 2307, the Energy Innovation Act. This bill is favored by both conservatives and liberals. Instead of placing more regulations on businesses and farmers, it would harness free market forces to reduce the burning of fossil fuels by placing a fee on coal, gas and oil, and put that money directly back into your pocket as a check. Sixty percent of Americans would receive more money from this act than they would pay out in increased fuel costs, and our grandchildren will thank us for both saving the planet and being fiscally responsible.

I am also encouraged Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley support the Growing Climate Solutions Act (S. 1251).

This legislation, additionally supported by the American Farm Bureau, will make it easier for farmers to get paid for increasing the carbon-content of their soil by adopting sustainable farming practices, such as cover crops. This is also good for water quality, soil health and flood control — soils rich in organic carbon material hold water better and decrease polluting run off.

Whether or not you are staying inside due to poor air quality, take a break and call your members of Congress. Thank Grassley and Ernst for their support of the Growing Climate Solutions Act and ask them and U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra to support H.R. 2307, the Energy Innovation Act. The public is also invited to meet experts on this topic and learn more at the upcoming “Finding Faith and Science in Climate Solutions” series hosted by the Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Aug. 22 and Sept. 12 at Arrowwood Resort in Okoboji from 11 a.m. to noon.

— Jane Shuttleworth, Okoboji