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Eric Mitchell II, Published May 28 2010

ND Chamber way out of step with US clean-energy agenda

‘No.” That’s the reaction of folks in North Dakota who did not appreciate being thrown in to the sweeping generalizations made by North Dakota Chamber of Commerce President Dave MacIver. In his recent letter to the editor, MacIver appears to want the reader to believe the mainstream view on energy policy is one that rejects our nation’s movement toward clean energy.

The U.S. Chamber has stated climate change should be addressed. In fact, the chamber says policies that increase energy supplies and efficiency should be supported.

That’s exactly why our senators should vote no on the Murkowski resolution. Far from the mainstream, the Murkowski resolution will undercut the Clean Air Act. This would hurt the environment and put polluters in charge of our energy future. Washington lobbyists for some of our nation’s biggest polluters literally helped to craft this bill, as they did the offshore drilling practices that are currently destroying portions of the gulf, to the economic and lifestyle changes beyond our scope and generation. Enough is enough.

We need to promote investments in the energy solutions of the future and reject the politics of big polluters. North Dakota is positioned to be the next Texas with our vast resources of solar, geothermal, biomass and wind. If we pass strong clean-energy policies, we will reduce pollution. We’ll also build new clean-energy industries that can create up to 11,000 jobs in North Dakota. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll strengthen our national security by lessening our dependence on foreign oil and our reliance on hostile regimes for it. North Dakota is proud of our clean air.

Our senators should say “no” to the “Dirty Air Act” and instead support policies that will lead us to a more independent, stronger and cleaner energy future.

Mitchell is North Dakota director of Repower ND.