Bottom Line Up Front: Clean energy, a healthy environment, high paying jobs, and a growing middle class can all go hand-in-hand. Everyone wins when we take care of our planet by investing in clean energy.
Over the last 20 years, humans have become more aware of our impact on the environment. Some people argue that the temperature of the planet fluctuates on long cycles. Yes, the temperature can fluctuate, but we are far outside of the normal top end of that known cycle. Even congress agrees that climate change is real, but they debate the impact humans on the environment.
We know that governmental oversight can have a measurable positive impact on the environment. In the mid 1970s we implemented several regulations that had a dramatic impact on the world around us, as you can see in these pictures of Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.
Clearly, we can make a difference.
We can support research in clean energy, and encourage the development of practical clean alternatives to high waste products.
The largest impact on the environment comes from energy production. In Indiana’s 4th Congressional District, 85% of our energy is coal based. We are the nation’s third largest coal consumer. Renewable resources such as solar, wind, hydro and bio-fuels produce energy while limiting the impact on the environment and increasing jobs. Currently, only 6% of our electricity is produced using renewable energy sources, one of the lowest rates in the country. We can do better.
The federal government provides subsidies to industries Congress wants to promote. Currently, these subsidies are given to the coal and fossil fuel industries to the tune of over $550 Million in 2014. (For the record, these subsidies are down from $3.3 Billion in 2007.) We can shift these subsidies to the manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, and growing bio-fuels. Investing in clean energy means more manufacturing jobs in Indiana and a cleaner environment. We already have wind turbine manufacturing in this district, which we can expand. We can make Indiana a leader in clean energy solutions.
There really is no down side to investing in clean energy. We can bring great jobs to Indiana, reduce our dependence on coal, and make the planet a cleaner place for ourselves and our children.