Scott Dance reports environmentalists “say it’s hypocritical for [Gov. Larry] Hogan, who has backed programs to fight global warming, to expand the use of natural gas” (“A year after fracking ban, Maryland Gov. Hogan’s support for natural gas sparks new battle,” March 3). What’s most hypocritical about Governor Hogan’s behavior? It’s not hypocritical to begin fighting global warming on easier fronts (banning non-existent local fracking) and adding complicated campaigns later (reducing emissions from using fracked gas).
Moreover, it's terribly wasteful to expand expensive natural gas infrastructure that’ll become obsolete before the end of its expected useful life. However, wastefulness reflects bad decision-making, tunnel-vision and undo influence, not necessarily hypocrisy. What’s particularly hypocritical here? Our Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative charges carbon pollution fees on electricity produced with fossil fuels, including natural gas. RGGI’s fees equitably encourage clean electricity, efficiencies, storage and grid improvements. Although RGGI began 10 years ago, individuals and businesses still use oil and gas for heat without paying RGGI-equivalent pollution fees.
Instituting parallel programs to RGGI — like state pollution fees on heating fuels — wouldn’t be hard. When a state starts taxing some oil and natural gas pollution but never adopts taxes on all similar activities, it’s unfair and galling. And it’s inexcusably hypocritical for Mr. Hogan to aggressively promote more untaxed, polluting natural gas for dirty heating of homes and businesses. He immorally undermines adoption of RGGI’s cleaner and cleaner electricity for heat (like heat pumps), while increasing favored treatment for dirty, inequitably untaxed fuels.
Also, please note super-environmentalists often don’t vote. That’s super-hypocritical! Good citizens vote, especially in high impact years like 2018.
Judy Weiss, Brookline, Mass.
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