Don’t limit energy debate to fossil fuel vs. renewable

The disparaging language against the clean economy continued in a recent article by The Hill (“ALEC takes aim at state green power standards,” Nov. 5), characterizing clean and renewable energy industries as unworthy of support when in reality they represent a paradigm shift to the types of energy and jobs that need to be part of a more sustainable future and healthier economy. As a small-business owner from New York who is a part of this sector, I’ve seen firsthand what the increased use of sustainable practices and renewable energy has produced, and the results are far from a burden on local communities. 

This movement is currently supporting 3 million workers across the country — local workers who are adapting and learning new skills and trades in jobs that cannot be outsourced. The jobs my firm and others in manufacturing, construction and engineering create in fact reduce our dependence on foreign oil, produce re-investment in local communities and strengthen our nation’s economic security. Green sectors are growing faster than the overall economy, and states that have invested in these sectors have fared better in the economic downturn, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

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ALEC claims that energy sources like wind and solar are “politically preferred” — however, they are no more or less politically preferred than those provided to producers of fossil fuels. As a community we need to find ways to have conversations that aren’t limited to two choices, such as renewables vs. fossil fuels. It doesn’t have to be an either-or debate. As Dr. Stephen R. Covey use to say, “we need to find the third alternative.” It’s time to have an intelligent, comprehensive and productive conversation about how to support a clean energy economy and create jobs so everyone can benefit from economic growth and prosperity while doing the kind of work that moves us to a more sustainable future. 

From Ellis Guiles, Jr., vice president, TAG Mechanical Systems, Inc., Syracuse, N.Y.

Revive the economy by passing Fair Tax Plan

The income tax creates a stagnant economy for the United States. Companies have moved overseas to give their investors a tax advantage. They will not return to the U.S. until our system gives them an advantage in the world market.The answer to this is the Fair Tax Plan. It will eliminate the income tax and the IRS, jump-start the economy, bring jobs back to the United States, capture untaxed dollars currently lost to criminal and offshore businesses, allow taxpayers to keep 100 percent of their paychecks — and let them save money by paying taxes only when you spend it — eliminate taxes citizens don’t even know they are paying, lower interest rates and make April 15 just another beautiful spring day. 

If everyone tells their congressman to support H.R. 25, we can turn this economy around as soon as it is enacted.

From Roy T. Newsom, Granbury, Texas