Letters to the Editor: Obama’s Clean Power Plan is Only Symbolic


Letters to the Editor: August 18 – 24, 2016


Obama’s Clean Power Plan is Only Symbolic


In last week’s guest commentary, it is classic 1984 doublespeak for the campaign organizers for Environment Virginia to refer to carbon dioxide, the only emissions controlled by President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, as “carbon pollution.” It is no more pollution than is water vapor, the major greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

By calling the gas “carbon,” they encourage people to think of it as something “dirty,” like graphite or soot, which really are carbon. Calling CO2 by its proper name would help the public remember that it is an invisible, odorless gas essential to plant photosynthesis.

Using the word “clean” in the plan’s title misleads people into thinking of it as a pollution plan, something it is not. The plan is based on the hypothesis that dangerous climate change is being caused by humanity’s CO2 emissions. In her 2013 testimony before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy admitted that the Clean Power Plan will not significantly affect climate. Its sole goal is symbolic, an attempt to convince other countries to follow America’s lead.

Governor McAuliffe should know that the Clean Power Plan will have little direct impact on pollution, human health or climate change. I think most Virginians can think of a better use of their tax dollars.

Tom Harris

Executive Director, International Climate Science Coalition


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