The Deseret News article “The conservative case for climate action,” published May 15, 2023, does a great job of identifying political issues associated with climate change. Policy differences aside, the article points out that there is much common ground found in the objectives of conservatives and climate activists. Rep. John Curtis is quoted as saying: “... (our energy) can be reliable, affordable and clean. Now, if we can get together and talk, I believe my colleagues on the left believe the same thing.”  

If energy security and independence is the goal, clean energy (wind, solar, geothermal and nuclear) is the answer. The price and availability of clean energy is set locally, or only as far as the electrical wire goes. Price and availability of clean energy is not affected by global energy demand, or global conflicts.   

If low energy prices are the goal, clean energy is the answer. There are many sources backing up this statement; one of the best being Rocky Mountain Power and PacifiCorp’s Integrated Resource Plan, targeting a rapid transition to clean energy. Their economic and technical experts spent two years coming up with the lowest cost, highest reliability, systemwide design. 

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The conservative case for climate action

If minimizing the economic, health and environmental impacts of pollution and global warming is the goal, clean energy is the answer. Clean energy emits no pollution. There is no need for expensive pollution capture and storage.  

Luckily, Utah and the West have abundant clean energy resources waiting to be developed.  There are more than enough local resources already in development to replace current fossil fuel resources and provide growth for additional demand. Reforming our permitting process will help get these resources on the grid. 

Please contact your federal and state legislators and ask them to support a clean energy future with permitting reform legislation.

Marc Peterson

Citizens Climate Lobby Utah state co-coordinator