OPINION

Letters to the Editor for Sept. 16

Erie Times-News

Wolf must close methane rule's loophole

It’s clear that something is up when southeastern Pennsylvania is battered by the remnants of Hurricane Ida leading to catastrophic flooding and death. Climate change is at our doorstep and turbocharging severe weather that is costing us both dollars and lives. It did not have to get to this but here we are.

As amply reported in the media, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a code red in its recent report calling out emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as a severe threat and one we must rein in.

Gov. Tom Wolf has issued a draft rule to cut methane but it has a loophole that leaves half of emissions unchecked. That won’t meet the promise the governor made in his 2019 executive order on climate.

What Pennsylvanians need is comprehensive action on climate that substantially reduces oil and gas methane pollution. It’s what we were promised and the governor needs to get the job done if we are to consider him a true climate champion.

MaryAnne Steinert

Allen Township, Northampton County

Push renewable energy; Help workers displaced by the shift

The fires, droughts, floods, tornados, of the last few months are forcing us to face the increasing impacts of climate change, which will affect us all. Fortunately, important legislation that goes a long way in addressing climate resiliency and the transition to clean energy is moving through the United States Congress. Although the measures contained in the legislation are very popular, there is significant opposition that threatens the bill’s future.

It’s a crucial time to tell our legislators that the federal spending bills being hammered out must include major policies transitioning our economy to renewable energy, or else warming of the atmosphere will reach dangerous levels in the next few decades. The recent IPCC report, summarizing the latest scientific research internationally, emphasized the urgent need for decisive action now. Public pressure is essential given the heavy lobbying of fossil fuel interests to block effective action. 

Policies are also needed to ensure that fossil fuel industry workers, and disadvantaged communities that have borne most of the cost of fossil fuel use, will have access to good clean energy jobs. 

On behalf of the Community Net-zero Education Project, within the Philadelphia Neighborhood Network, I want to urge everyone who is concerned about having a safe and stable climate for their children and grandchildren to voice those concerns to their legislators. Contact info is available at www.usa.gov/elected-officials.

Richard Cole

West Norriton, Montgomery County