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Republicans must tackle climate

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA announced that global atmospheric temperatures in 2015 were the warmest on record ("2015 was Earth's hottest year on record by a wide margin, NOAA and NASA says," Jan. 20). It is important to note that ocean temperatures surpassed records for 2015 as well.

This is significant because NOAA also reports that sea level is rising around the continental U.S. due to the warming of the oceans and the melting of land ice, and that this is already impacting coastal infrastructure.

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Rising seas threaten nuclear power plants, Superfund cleanup sites, landfills, sewage treatment plants, naval bases and countless homes and businesses. It's no wonder that former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin warns that future federal spending to deal with global warming and sea level rise is likely to be enormous.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, my representative in Wisconsin's First District, promises that the Republican Party will offer a complete alternative to the left's agenda. It's critical for this to include bold, effective limited government solutions on energy and climate. One market-based policy that should be considered is a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend program.

Many GOP members are pledging not to duck the hard issues but to take them head on. Tackling climate change is a great opportunity to do just that.

Terry Hansen, Oak Creek, Wisc.

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