Letter: Green energy bill not so cut and dried
The article “Low carbon fuel bill gets Senate hearing” in Friday’s paper was an excellent description of the farmers’ plight. Michele Kiesz relayed the impact of HB 1091 on today’s farmers. As our government tries to create green energy it would do well to remember where oxygen comes from; it comes from our plants and trees turning carbon dioxide to oxygen. I believe that our plants and trees are already “green.” It is paramount that we protect our forests and grasslands with resource management that promotes regrowth and healthy trees.
Complete dependence on electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines also has detrimental effects on the environment. Current electric vehicles require lithium batteries, which are comprised of 20% cobalt. There is a current and disturbing human rights concern for the child labor practices in the Congo, where cobalt is prevalent. Lithium is mined using approximately 550,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of lithium. Both elements are toxic to humans, with the potential to contaminate the ground and groundwater resources used to harvest these elements. There currently isn’t a safe way to dispose of the batteries that are no longer viable.
We need to concentrate first on developing the technology that enables vehicles to use alternatives to fossil fuels, rather than promoting green and safe energy before we have the ability to use it. By embracing this green energy initiative we are trading one environmental hazard for another. The U.S. continues to be the leader with the lowest carbon emissions of any country. Demanding the U.S. continue to reduce carbon emissions does nothing to impact the world when the majority of other countries do little to reduce their carbon footprint.