As a centrist who has lived in both red and blue states, I am inspired by Benji Backer’s article “Congress should embrace a bipartisan approach to the environment.” It is easy to get discouraged when cable news and social media amplify where we disagree. Backer, however, reminds me that we have good leaders in Utah such as Rep. John Curtis who has already been working toward solutions for our changing climate. We need solutions to strengthen American energy independence and to lessen the health impacts of our communities. 

One area recognized by both parties is the need to improve the energy permitting process. The last Congress failed to pass energy permitting reform despite the benefits for traditional energy and the need to build upgrades to the nation’s electrical grid for renewable growth. That seemed like a shame, a loss for all due mostly to partisan politics.  

It’s time to build America’s clean energy economy. Energy permitting reform will make that possible by unlocking clean energy infrastructure that’s waiting to be built and by quickly getting that clean energy to American households and businesses. I ask Rep. Curtis, Rep. Blake Moore and Rep. Burgess Owens (members of the Conservative Climate Caucus) to lead on bipartisan solutions for clean energy permitting reform, legislating solutions that address both fossil fuel permitting and clean energy permitting.  

As Backer said, “Nearly every American leader wants better, cleaner communities. It’s up to us, as voters tired of the political divide, to help support those who are willing to make it happen.”

David Kam

Salt Lake City