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Letter: Addressing climate change should be a conservatives goal
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The conservative values of the sacredness of life from conception to death, balancing our budget, hard work to get ahead, strong Christian ethics and a belief that God is central to my life, loyalty, taking personal responsibility, a deep respect for scientific reasoning and facts, and being good stewards of the earth are all dear to my heart. My children and my family are very dear to me. I believe we need to keep America strong, for America is a beacon of hope to the world.

Those conservative values, that are at the heart of who I am, are also the reasons that I am a strong advocate of acting to combat the dangers of climate change. Conservative values and combating climate change really go hand in hand.

I feel strongly that it is my moral responsibility to be a good steward of this precious earth that God has given us. It is one of the greatest gifts that I can pass on to my children.

That is the reason that I have become so strongly involved in Citizens Climate Lobby. Its carbon fee and dividend plan places a fair price on fossil fuels that accounts for their damage to human and animal life and returns that money to all of us citizens. That is a matter of fairness-polluters pay for their damage. This plan not only would decrease greenhouse gases by 52 percent over 20 years, but it would also add 2.8 million extra jobs, increase the GDP by $1.375 trillion, add real extra spendable income to about two-thirds of Americans and save 227,000 American lives by improving air quality.

That will make America more prosperous, which is another gift to my children. The increased price of fossil fuels allows the free market to take over and speeds up the transition to clean energy-a win for our environment and for conservative values.

Richard Nixon became the first president to declare environmental protection “a national priority,” and the Republican Party under President Nixon initiated the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and created the EPA. Ronald Reagan was a strong defender of the environment.

Caring for our earth and the desire to pass on a better world to our children is a bipartisan concern, and there are very conservative, market based ways to do this. It is time for this great nation of ours to unite, using conservative principles, and lead the world into the clean energy era.

Vernon Dixon
Hiawassee

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