U.S. losing ground in the fight against climate change – The Spectrum

Lisa Rutherford

Several years ago military leaders and corporate leaders advised that changes were needed to head off climate change problems. We are witnessing those problems now.  We’ve wasted years with political wrangling.

Delaying the transition to a cleaner energy future will cost the U.S. in the billions of dollars according to Energy Innovation, a policy group. And, if the U.S. drags its feet on this issue we will lose influence in the world as others make headway.

There are some good signs. Car manufacturers including Ford, GM and Jaguar, to name a few, are getting on board the electric car bandwagon. But that will not be enough. Coal plants have been closing across the U.S., but many are still in operation with companies not moving fast enough to decommission them. The Biden administration plans to boost the figure used to assess societal damage or the “social cost of carbon” from greenhouse gas pollution to $51 per ton of carbon dioxide, and plans a more thorough analysis that could push it as high as $125 per ton while targeting money to help revitalize coal communities.

Individual states such as New York, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Maine, and Virginia are developing plans to help deal with the costs of carbon, too. More than half of the states have some sort of clean-energy mandate. However, some coastal states that have the most to lose are not engaging. Their fossil-fuel economies make them