Guest Opinion: Park centennial calls for climate action

Guest Opinion by Brian Ettling, Ashland Daily Tidings, August 24 2016.

Aug. 25 marks the centennial of the National Park Service. National Parks, including nearby Crater Lake, has held celebration events this summer to commemorate President Woodrow Wilson signing the congressional law known as the Organic Act on Aug. 25, 1916.

That law created the NPS and its mission to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and … leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”


NOTE:  The CCL proposal is for a greenhouse gas fee rather than just a carbon fee.  This targets fossil fuels in relation to the full life cycle emissions of greenhouse gases assessed in terms of their carbon dioxide equivalent impact.  This is important because methane, the primary component of natural gas, has a warming impact 86 times that of carbon dioxide on a 20 year basis, and 34 times more on a 100 year basis.  Unfortunately, natural gas leaks, from its fracking source and throughout its transmission.  This leakage, known as fugitive emissions, is sufficiently large that natural gas may well be worse than coal as a fossil fuel source despite the fact that combustion of natural gas results in much lower carbon dioxide being emissions per unit of energy generated than do coal and oil combustion.

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