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Article Archive >> Community

Can Saving Our Environment Save Our Economy?

Can Saving Our Environment Save Our Economy?

(NewsUSA)- The new president and Congress face a set of challenges that rival any of the modern era: a troubled economy, insecure energy supplies and the threat of climate change. These issues are closely intertwined, and none is easily solved on its own. But with the right approach, America can be on a path toward economic growth and a cleaner, more secure future.
Many experts say that the best way to solve the energy crisis is through a carbon cap, or a limit on greenhouse gas pollution. A cap solved America's acid rain problem in the 1990s, and it can be used today to cure our dependence on foreign oil.
A cap obligates companies to pay for the carbon they emit -; the less they emit, the less they pay -; so it is in their best economic interests to invest in alternative fuels and technologies. These profitable investments will spur entrepreneurs to focus on finding alternative sources of energy that will help grow a booming, green economy.
Now, instead of sending nearly 3 percent of our gross domestic product overseas to oil-rich and often hostile nations, it can be invested in new manufacturing jobs that will stay here at home and strengthen America's economy.
A carbon cap will produce millions of jobs in sectors across the economy, from steel manufacturing to clean energy product development. For example, wind energy turbines have more than 8,000 parts: A small wind project uses at least 4,466 tons of steel, 609 tons of composite fiberglass, 610 tons of steel rebar and 12,470 tons of concrete.
With the new jobs created by carbon cap legislation, America would have a clear edge over European and Chinese competitors, similar to our lead in the space race and the Internet revolution.
While a carbon cap may boost our economy, failing to enact climate-change legislation would threaten America's future growth. Climate change results in droughts, more powerful storms and rising sea levels -; all of which can cause significant economic harm. Among the hardest hit businesses will be insurance, banking, real estate, farming and tourism, all affecting the American heartland.
As the new Congress settles in after the New Year, ask your Senators and Representatives to support climate-change legislation.
For more information, contact the Environmental Defense Action Fund at www.edf.org.

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