Don’t let climate policy spark unreasonably high utility bills

Your article “Coal users trying to redirect Congress on global warming” (May 6) suggests that calling on Congress to invest in technology that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a departure from my record as a fiscal conservative.

As a fiscal conservative, I sought not only to reduce spending but also to spend taxpayers’ money responsibly. To ensure the nation can achieve its climate change goals, we must make up-front investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy and technology.

While in Congress, I also tried to be mindful of the effect my votes had on all my constituents. Likewise, because the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and its members are not-for-profit, consumer-owned cooperatives, we look out for all our members, no matter their income level.

NRECA believes climate change legislation should be scored according to its impact on consumers, as well as its impact on the federal budget.

Ignoring the impact of legislation as it affects all our citizens is always a mistake. Many rural electric consumers are already having trouble paying their fuel bills. Investing in energy efficiency for low-income citizens can both reduce our electricity demands and help those least able to pay the cost of mitigating climate change.

We should all strive for a national policy that will allow the nation to meet climate change goals while keeping the lights on and electric bills affordable. That is the only policy that will prove sustainable over the next decade.

To fail would be a tremendous waste of taxpayer as well as consumer money — and cause a lot of pain for all our citizens.

Arlington, Va.

Hated York’s tale of Michelle Obama

From K.R. Searle

(Regarding Byron York’s column “Michelle Obama’s tales of woe,” May 8.) I guess now that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has virtually won the Democratic nomination away from the Clinton machine, the campaign, including the assault from the press and the right, has officially begun. Since Sen. Obama is a black man who smiles a lot and who is beloved by the populace, it is difficult to find fault with him. It is so much easier to pick on his wife!

And that is what Byron York did in his sloppy piece.

It will be very difficult to pick on Michelle Obama during the rest of the campaign, however. She was not born into the beer wealth of Cindy McCain, nor does she put on airs or try to be glamorous, or anything she is not. She worked her way up from the trenches. Maybe people like Byron York don’t understand those of us like Michelle, but we out here do! And we like her, even if you, Byron York, do not! We like her, a heck of a lot more than we like you, and we are in solid support of her and her husband!

Berkeley Heights, N.J.