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To the editor:

As a loyal Republican, I’m just trying to understand. OK, let me get this straight. Our Republican agenda: 1. Make a pig’s breakfast of government. 2. Claim that government makes a pig’s breakfast of everything it touches, leaving private industry to really make a pig’s breakfast of planet Earth.

Fellow Republicans, let us reconsider our agenda. It’s not unusual for political parties to have a reset every so often. The Republican Party already has superior leadership in some of our own, such as Mitt Romney, Becky Edwards, and John Curtis.

We Republicans represent a well-established old guard who feel threatened by the inevitable transition from fossil carbon energy. We haven’t been as representative as we should be of those who feel threatened by the fact that 40 million people depend on the Colorado River, which is drying up because of greenhouse gas emissions.

Some say “down with capitalism!” I say capitalism is our solution if we but apply it. For capitalism to work, costs have to be known and priced, and the good news is, once costs are known, people start reducing those costs. Capitalism today is making a mess of our world because we aren’t pricing the costs of greenhouse gas emissions. Yay capitalism, I say, but face facts and act like an adult.

We needn’t feel threatened. Already existing and flourishing alternatives to fossil carbon energy are here and they are better. Think less expensive, a world without pollution, no more oil spills. It’s within reach through replacing gasoline powered tools and vehicles with electric ones and also replacing coal powered electricity with renewable sources and batteries.

The transition from fossil carbon energy to renewables will be disruptive of existing businesses, but America has gone through many such transitions, such as 100 years ago, when we made a transition from horse powered transportation to gasoline powered transportation. Today, we are going through a transition from gasoline powered transportation to electric powered transportation. One potential upside to this transition, it’s often good to have some turnover when incumbents get too comfortable with their concentrated wealth and power. Once they propelled us forward. Now they hold us back.

Let us minimize the shock to fossil carbon energy incumbents and the many people they employ here in Utah through making the transition gradual. Let’s understand, though, that business as usual is over. The world is going to electrics and renewables. If we’re to be players in the world economy, we will too.

There is a way forward. Congress is considering it right now. Price carbon emissions with a gradually escalating fee. Ease the shock to Americans through a carbon dividend to Americans from the proceeds of this fee.

Charles Ashurst


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