There has to be a middle ground on climate

I’m looking forward to a robust discussion of energy policy during the 2020 campaign for the White House and based on Associated Press reporter Matthew Daly’s recent article on The News & Advance website (“Ocasio-Cortez: No ‘middle ground’ on fighting climate change,” May 13), it seems like energy will be a key issue.

On one side, you have Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who is not actually running for president, but likely will appear with a lot of candidates) who say there is “no middle ground.” No coal, no natural gas, no nothing that isn’t a renewable. That’s compelling, but unrealistic approach.

On the other side, you have more moderate candidates who, as Daly reported, want to pursue a less radical approach. I hope our elected officials can find a middle ground that helps mitigate climate change without hurting the economy or dramatically increasing energy costs. And with increased natural gas production, there is.

Gas is cleaner than coal — it’s already helping the United States drive down emissions levels — and there are a lot of jobs to be had by investing in this resource.

This “middle ground” shouldn’t be derided. It’s what’s best for our economy, and our environment. I hope more candidates will start talking about practical solutions that bring us together, instead of staking out an extreme position and giving no ground.

BRYAN MORRIS

Bedford

Tough choices

According to the June 6 Associated Press article in The News & Advance on page C1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is seeking nearly $3 million in emergency funding to “provide basic care” to 13,200 immigrant children this summer; other services have already been cut due to lack of funds.

At the same time, President Trump’s three-day family vacation to the United Kingdom is estimated to have cost U.S. taxpayers at least $3.5 million just for transportation and hotels. And according to a 2019 Government Accountability Office report, Trump’s vacations to Mar-a-Lago cost taxpayers an average of $3.4 million each, and there have been many.

Hmmmm.

Providing basic care to thousands of children here in the U.S. or funding family vacations for a “billionaire”? Leadership certainly presents tough choices, doesn’t it?

ELIZABETH RIEBEN

Lynchburg

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