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Letter: Trump policies would damage environment

Trump policies would damage environment

2017 could be the pivotal year in the transition from the carbon-based energy sources used since the 19th century to the clean, renewable energy sources of the 21st century. It could be, but only if our next president leads us on the path started by President Obama in his second term. Donald Trump is not that leader.

His “America-First energy plan,” as presented to fossil fuel industry executives at the recent Shale Insight Conference, shows his insensitivity to the need to reduce carbon emissions. A vocal opponent of the Paris Accord recently ratified by the United States and China, Trump pandered to the crowd and presented his ideas to “open up federal lands for oil and gas production, open offshore areas and revoke policies that are imposing unnecessary restrictions on new exploration.”

Any plan to ramp up production and the burning of oil, gas and coal would have severe and long-lasting consequences. Needless to say, environmental groups are up in arms that a climate change denier could become president of the United States. However, they are not the only concerned coalition. Stephen Hawking added his voice to a group of 375 scientists: “It is of great concern that the Republican nominee for president has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord.”

Trump’s energy plans, compared with his opponent’s, are polar opposites. Any New Yorker who cheered the state’s fracking ban in 2013 should be equally concerned that a Trump presidency could overturn that ban based on his vow to revoke unnecessary restrictions on new exploration.

John S. Szalasny

Williamsville

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