No time to waste

With the clock ticking on our opportunity to limit global warming to the critical 2 degrees Celsius increase by 2030, we need a bill in Congress that is both effective and bipartisan.

A carbon fee and dividend policy, where a fee is assessed on carbon fuels and Americans receive dividend payments from the fees collected, is just that.

First, it’s effective. In its February report, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommended a carbon fee for achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century. The 2018 report by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calls carbon pricing “a necessary condition of ambitious climate policies.”

Second, carbon fee and dividend support is bipartisan. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated in January: “I do see Republican support, and not only Democrat support, for an approach that would involve a carbon tax with redistribution. It’s not politically impossible.”

In the last Congress, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act was introduced with bipartisan support and had 86 co-sponsors. The majority of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, favor carbon fee and dividend policy and want Congress to act.

This bipartisan appeal of carbon pricing stems partly from its stimulus of the U.S. economy and creation of jobs by encouraging financial investments in market innovations for new, clean technology.

We call on our members of Congress to co-sponsor a carbon fee and dividend bill. In the countdown to 2030, we can’t waste a minute on measures that won’t work both environmentally and politically.

William Engels


More promises coming

I have been following the dam debate from the beginning, with great interest in the information coming from both sides of the debate.

I have lived in this valley since 1963. I have seen the free-flowing Snake River. It was a beautiful river with vibrant beaches, wildlife, everything an outdoors person would love. It always drew crowds for whatever recreation one desired.

Then fast forward a decade and the Snake River became a big government project along with Dworshak Dam on the North Fork of the Clearwater. The public was made promises from the political delegation involved.

The Army Corps of Engineers, taking the lead, put in the required infrastructure as it is now. The levy system is a beautiful place to recreate and enjoy the scenery. The river minus the beaches has all the recreation it always had.

I am sympathetic to both sides of the issues. The thing is that no matter what side of this issue you are on, you will lose as the government will decide and the costs will affect all who live, work and play.

The breaching of the dams would bring the government’s wasteful foresight full circle with more promises once again.

Rodger Rawson


Building a foundation

Broadband connectivity is a foundation for economic growth, job creation, and a better way of life. However, many Idaho rural areas have inadequate to non-existent internet connection. If we don’t address Idaho’s digital divide now, a generation of children and adults in underserved communities will be left behind in the digital age of innovation.

Many rural communities recognize there are broadband issues but don’t have a complete understanding of its root cause or have the resources to maneuver through a plan of action. For many communities, the various aspects of broadband planning, the cost of broadband infrastructure and applying for federal grants are overwhelming.

To move broadband initiatives forward, we need strong leaders to be the voice and support for rural communities to participate in broadband planning. Since the initiation of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force, the Clearwater Economic Development Association and other economic regional counterparts have supported dozens of plans by working with rural Idaho communities and engineering experts to build and modernize their broadband infrastructure.

Understanding these issues, community leaders joined together in an effort called “Imagine Idaho.”

These leaders are committed to serving rural areas by promoting policies that help their ability to deploy broadband infrastructure in a pro-competitive way and provide support for capacity building by networking regional experts to locals who need help. Through the Imagine Idaho coalition of leaders, we are dedicated to ensuring that every Idahoan has access to broadband that will increase economic, educational and telemedicine benefits, stimulate innovation and unlock limitless possibilities.

Christine Frei

Executive director

Clearwater Economic Development Association