A May 20 editorial by Bloomberg View, “Safe Arctic drilling won’t betray Obama’s overall climate policy,” claimed that allowing Arctic drilling is not in conflict with a strong policy on climate change. Claiming that “production of oil should be maximized while also increasing efforts to curb greenhouse gases” is like saying that California should use up all of its water now before stricter regulations begin.

Because we are already far beyond the threshold of “safe” carbon emissions, tapping into carbon still safely under ground only makes the problem worse.

According to the military, climate change is a major threat multiplier in the Middle East and the rest of the world. We have fought wars and destroyed many of our natural resources, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Circle, in the name of securing our fossil fuel supply.

Unfortunately, accidents always happen. In the past, maybe the risks of drilling for oil were worth it; however, if we include the risks of climate change on top of the other environmental factors, the risks far outweigh the benefits.

More regulation and deciding case-by-case who gets drilling rights is not the best solution. Instead, a market-based strategy, such as carbon fee and dividend, is the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions, both by discouraging further drilling for oil and by encouraging consumers to find more sustainable options.

Even better, the carbon fee and dividend bill proposed by Citizens Climate Lobby is revenue-neutral. All of the money would be returned to the American people, which would stimulate the economy while significantly decreasing carbon emissions.

I urge people to write to Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin and encourage them to introduce carbon fee and dividend legislation as soon as possible.

Caroline Karnes


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