To the Editor:
In response to Mr. Trattner’s piece titled, “My opposing view on the Paris Accord.” You start your article with “we all want clean water and clean air.” This may be true, yet, unfortunately, you soon contradict your message. Clean air, and clean water, is not achieved through the burning of fossil fuels. A Ph.D is not necessary to understand that. We do not run our cars with the garage closed, we do not want oil in our rivers. We can notice the difference in air quality, between New York, and Wyoming. Reducing our dependence on oil, is one of the only ways we achieve clean air and water.
I do agree with one thing you say, carbon taxes will raise prices of energy and even goods. However, if we play our cards right, we can avoid carbon taxes altogether. Everyone thinks that coal, natural gas, and fossil fuel power plants are the cheapest way to get our energy needs. However, this is simply not true. According to a Lazard report referenced by Forbes, unsubsidized commercial grade solar was the cheapest form of energy available, at an average cost of $37 per MWh. Coal was averaged at $92, and natural gas at $174. Wind turbines were only averaged at $58 per MWh. Technology has advanced these new energy sources to places we never thought possible. Use these new technologies to our advantage, and we will not need a carbon tax. Neither will we be worrying about high electric prices. We can reduce our dependence on oil, without raising prices. There is no doubt we will still have a need for fossil fuels, but why not reduce our dependence on them? Why not use good old American innovation, to innovate our way out of an oil dependent society?
The Paris Accord will not erase jobs. Big oil is not going away overnight, and more importantly, our need for energy isn’t either. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind turbine service technician is the fastest growing occupation in the United States. It is followed by nurse practitioners, and then solar installers in third. These are safe, good paying jobs as well, the median pay for wind turbine technicians was $52,000.
Why do you think almost every automaker is transitioning their product lines towards electrification? Not only because it’s the green thing to do, they’ve been ignoring that for a long time. They are doing it, because there is money in it. Look at Tesla, according to Forbes, Tesla became the world’s most valuable automaker, a striking 208 billion in 2020. Volkswagen, for comparison, is only worth a measly 74 billion. There will be a time, not too far away, when electric cars become a cheaper, smarter, and better alternative to gas cars. It doesn’t stop there. A green future isn’t just green because of the environmental benefits. Just like electric cars, it will soon, and already is, making better economic sense to install a wind turbine, than build another coal plant. The future is green.