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Letter: From Sununu, a faulty argument on energy

John E. Sununu’s Dec. 10 column in the Boston Globe attacking energy policies ignored that energy policy in the United States has accomplished a number of positive goals. Our energy use has an impact on our public health, our environment and our economy. Energy policy successes demonstrate how we can direct the energy market to minimize those costs to our well-being, economic growth and our clean air.

The EPA’s clean air standards will reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent, which is set to save 46,000 lives per year. Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that causes developmental deficiencies in children who are exposed to the metal, whether directly or through a mother’s prior exposure. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has invested $1.5 billion in clean energy and efficiency to help homeowners and businesses retrofit their homes and save on their energy bills. The program lowers carbon emissions, a real security threat to our communities from superstorms like Sandy. Federal tax credits for wind power have created 37,000 jobs across the country, jobs that we can’t afford to lose.

Sununu proposes that we have no energy plan so as not to interfere with the free market; what then of past subsidies for oil and natural gas? Billions of federal taxpayer dollars have created the system that Sununu praises. If anything, we should encourage the use of renewables as much as we incentivize the dominant fossil fuel infrastructure. We have policies that are working, and President Obama should continue building a cleaner future for tomorrow.



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