Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

May 12 letters to the editor

EPA protects us from fossil fuel industry

Anyone who thinks that the Environmental Protection Agency has too much government overreach, as Hoppy Kercheval expressed in his commentary (May 3) must have a death wish. The fossil fuel industry, like all other corporations, is motivated by profit for its shareholders. It will take any shortcuts to maximize profit. Outfitting coal and gas-fired power plants to prevent toxic emissions into our air and water costs money. Without the EPA to keep an eye on it, we would all be a lot less healthy and our medical costs would be a lot higher. Protecting the environment means protecting humans.

Further, the fossil fuel industry has always had its thumb on renewable energy via our state legislators. Those of us who would like access to community solar do not have the option because it is not allowed in West Virginia. Meanwhile, the price of wind and solar energy and the batteries needed to store it continues to decrease.

More importantly, we have to stop pumping more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Right now the oceans are absorbing most of the solar heat trapped by humanity’s carbon and methane emissions, meaning the world would be a lot hotter by now if the oceans weren’t absorbing all this heat. Warmer oceans are having a major impact on weather patterns.

It is the EPA’s job to protect us and that is what the new carbon emissions rules are intended to do. The EPA projects that implementing the rules will produce “up to $370 billion in climate and public health net benefits over the next two decades.” Apparently, Hoppy prefers we keep subsidizing the coal industry with our money, our health and our lives.

Betsy Lawson