The discussion on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new carbon rules has quite properly centered around cost. I have been dismayed, however, that the discussion has been entirely focused on
whether electrical rates will rise or fall and by how much.
But what are the other costs of not moving forward with carbon reduction? One small slice of this cost happens in my neighborhood about every two years when so-called “once-in-100-year rains” flood our basements, garages and yards. Many families replace their furnaces, hot-water heaters, washing machines, dryers and cars and have to deal with mold and structural damage to their foundations
after each event.
We pay our $2,000 deductible. But because we have Federal Emergency Management Agency insurance, taxpayers who have no idea that climate disruption affects them are on the hook for hundreds of thousands more.
And my neighborhood is barely the tip of the iceberg.
Droughts, super-storms, pollution-related illness and rising oceans lead to huge increases in costs to health care, food prices, insurance and taxes.
These costs do not appear on your monthly electrical bill and do not have big corporations publicizing them, but they are real and certainly far higher than the worst projections for rising electrical rates.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to cut carbon emissions allows each state to develop its own plan. Gov. Pat Quinn should proceed quickly to develop Illinois’ plan. The people of Illinois should support the new carbon rules and not let our politicians, so beholden to energy companies, off the hook for taking this imperative step.
-- Linda Sullivan, Lombard