There are now three reasons to stop using fossil fuels quickly:

The most noticeable one is cost. Heating oil in Maine is over $5 a gallon. Nationally, gasoline averages over $4 a gallon. These prices depend on international corporations, so they could keep rising. Building new renewable infrastructure is cheaper than developing new fossil fuel sources.

The second is that buying fossil fuels from dictators allows them to wage predatory wars like in Ukraine. The Economist reports that Vladimir Putin has $60 billion in the bank to fund his war because of money Europe paid him for fossil fuels.

Thirdly, burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of the climate crisis and is responsible for increasing temperatures driving extreme weather. In Maine, droughts, increased storm intensity and rising Lyme infections are happening. Mild changes, compared with what the rest of the U.S. has experienced and compared with the floods and fires we will soon face.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, in a February Senate speech, said that the International Monetary Fund estimates the U.S. subsidizes the fossil fuel industry by $660 billion yearly. The fossil fuel industry makes huge contributions to our politicians so they do not act to protect our pocketbooks and our planet. A carbon fee and dividend is the most efficient way to speed the transition to renewables, and you would get a monthly check to protect you from hardship as these changes occur.

Call Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden and tell them to speed up the transition to renewables now.

Nancy Hasenfus

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