Carbon tax claims don’t mislead
A June 30 Public Pulse letter by Barry Butterfield about HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, said some letters about the act have been misleading.
Unfortunately it is Butterfield who is misleading in a number of ways.
I don’t believe the act will stop floods or climate change — the climate crisis is larger than what the act proposes to address. It is one piece of a much larger attack that needs to be made to solve the climate crisis.
I agree with Butterfield that only taxing the people is not justified. He ignores the fact that the tax revenue from this act would be returned to all citizens (and a half share for each of their children) so they can pay for the increased costs of carbonized energy.
The act would not raise the price of all energy, just carbon-produced energy. And we have to reduce, drastically, the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere, which the act would incentivize the nation to do.
He ignores the millions of jobs the act would create.
Giving agriculture a break from the tax would help this state and its economy, so that portion of the act would be good for Nebraska.
HR 763 would pay people to decarbonize our energy, something we must do.
Bob Kraft, Omaha
Carbon tax is the wrong fix
I read with interest the comments from Barry Butterfield.
I agree with him totally. The carbon tax, while intended to help solve a problem, would only create others, as most well-intentioned laws do. The intent to clean the air does much more, and most of the side effects are not worth the effort.
All of the unsightly wind farms are only feasible to the extent that subsidies will make them. Producing these unsightly monsters consumes a great deal of energy, from mining the raw materials to the production and transportation to their final destination. Most of the turbines are produced outside the U.S., hence more trade imbalance.
As Butterfield indicated, the best solution is the movement back to nuclear power. Design a standard plant that would avoid the need for a new design for every plant built, as other countries are doing. The Yucca Flats nuclear waste facility is sitting empty so there is already a well-designed facility for waste disposal.
Gene Pope, Omaha
Not good government
The approval of the downtown juvenile justice center is an example of bad government.
All Nebraskans need property tax relief. Never was the question asked by the Douglas County Board: “Can Douglas County taxpayers afford this?”
This is a no-bid contract. Do you think lower costs are achieved by the bid process, or handing a job to the general contractor?
Taxes on a $200,000 home would go up $30 for the first three years and then a $60 increase for the remaining 27 years of the bond covering the entire project. That’s a $1,710 tax increase over the 30 years.
This was done without a vote of the people, even though the people will now be forced to pay for it. The nonprofit public building commission is a loophole and a way around needed public input and accountability. Let’s hope State Sen. Tom Briese’s legislative bill will pass in the next session to close this loophole.
Nebraska continues to struggle with its property tax burden. With the Legislature’s continued failure to come up with a solution, it’s looking more and more as though Nebraska’s “second house” — Nebraska’s citizens and the power of the people — may be what forces needed change.
Jerry Pascale, Omaha
Humane treatment needed
As we plan our activities for the upcoming Fourth of July, we need to ask ourselves what values our country is exhibiting right now. I have been heartbroken by the reports of migrant and refugee children being taken from their families and placed in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
Even after U.S. District Court ordered that family separations end in June 2018, the government has exploited a loophole in that order and continued to separate over 700 families. These children are sleeping on cold concrete floors and are not given basic necessities or enough medical care. In any other circumstance, adults treating children like this would be prosecuted. As our elected officials, Rep. Don Bacon and Sens. Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer should visit the detention camps themselves.
We should reinstate the family case management program, which enabled non-criminal asylum seekers to live in communities, usually with extended family, while they waited for their asylum claims to be decided. The program cost a tiny fraction of what we’re paying now and 98% of those enrolled kept their immigration court appearances.
We should also hire and train more immigration judges, attorneys and asylum officers. If we really want to stem the tide of refugees from Central American countries, we should be helping to stabilize those countries so people won’t feel desperate to leave.
Regardless of what your immigration policy position is, one would think we could all agree that, at the very least, innocent children should be treated humanely.
Darci Garcia, Omaha
Why no flag?
I watched both Democratic debates last week and didn’t see Old Glory. I am a veteran.
Al Clair, Omaha
Parents footed the bill
I completely agree with the Public Pulse letter from Bradley S. Grubb (Sanders’ ‘College for All’ act, June 26).
My wife and I paid for college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for two daughters, four years each, with tuition going up each year.
They graduated with the only debt being a travel abroad program — one went to Costa Rica and the other to Oxford. That was on them, and everything else was on Mom and Dad because we agreed early on that was the way it would be.
I don’t think I worked less than 70 hours a week the whole eight years they were in college.
Todd Pickering, Omaha