Sen. Rob Portman promotes his bill, The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness, in The Advertiser-Tribune of Sept. 25. I like much of what he says, but I hope the Senate will remove the flies from this ointment. One fly is his favoring "all the above" sources of energy, which includes fossil fuels that pollute, sicken and kill our environment and people. Nuclear energy also is very dangerous, as Fukushima has shown.
His endorsement of fracking for natural gas in Ohio ignores the toxic methane it releases into the surroundings. And the Keystone XL pipeline is not, as he says, environmentally sound, common sense. The tar sand to be funneled from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico is extremely dirty. Its processing and use worsens pollution more than most other fuels.
Near his conclusion, the senator refers to 260 businesses and associations that support his and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's bill. Mentioning the Sierra Club here, he may not have known that just two weeks ago, the executive director of the club, Michael Brune, qualified his club's support by opposing amendments that would obstruct President Barack Obama's climate goals, gut clean building standards, approve the "dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline," and block efforts to account for the costs of "climate disruption" to American taxpayers. Such amendments, he concludes, "would make this legislation effectively contradict itself."
More than 350 organizations are lobbying against the Keystone XL pipeline, according to Climate Progress (thinkprogress.org). Though outspent 35 to one by business interests, these advocates speak for not just America but the world.
Some natural resources cause so much damage, they must be left unused.
George Reid Marsh,