Kate Troll (Courtesy Photo / Kate Troll)

Kate Troll (Courtesy Photo / Kate Troll)

Opinion: I appreciate Murkowski’s climate and energy leadership

The real sleeper is the relief and hope this bill offers for a rapidly warming Earth.

  • Wednesday, December 30, 2020 12:54pm
  • Opinion

By Kate Troll

I’ve been engaged in the challenge of climate change and energy policy for more than a decade and I’ve seen lots of ups and downs, but never did I expect monumental leadership from a Republican Alaskan Senator. I’ve seen lots of tinkering around the edges but nothing as bold as what Sen. Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, just delivered in the stimulus relief bill recently signed by the president.

Included in the energy package are roughly $4 billion for solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal research and development; $1.7 billion to help low-income families install renewable energy sources in their homes; and $2.6 billion for the Energy Department’s sustainable transportation programs. These are all programs in which Alaska is uniquely positioned to take advantage of and in the process create thousands of jobs.

Perhaps most significant for the climate is the measure to cut the production of hydrofluorocarbons by 85% over the next 15 years. HFCs is the chemical used in air conditioners and refrigerators and is thousands of times more potent than carbon-dioxide as a greenhouse gas. In fact, refrigerant management is the No.1 solution out of a hundred solutions proposed by Project Drawdown, the most comprehensive plan to reverse global warming. Some scientists think the measure to cut production of HFC could save as much as half a degree Celsius warming.

While the focus of the stimulus bill is on economic relief for the pandemic, the real sleeper is the relief and hope this bill offers for a rapidly warming Earth. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank Senator Murkowski for playing a pivotal role in delivering this much needed relief.

• Kate Troll served on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s Climate Mitigation Advisory Group and was the only Alaskan invited to former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Global Climate Summit in 2008. She served six years on the Board of Directors for the Renewable Energy Alaska Project and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Renewable Juneau. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

More in Opinion

Web
Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

Teaser
Opinion: Columbus and Western culture

By Albert Shaw This time of year people want to blame Columbus… Continue reading

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Dunleavy’s first act as governor was unconstitutional

That’s according to a ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge John Sedwick.

This photo shows a ballot for the City and Borough of Juneau’s 2021 municipal election. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: Does Vote-by-mail come with voter’s remorse, buyer’s remorse —or both

By Win Gruening A curious thing happened leading up to the recent… Continue reading

This Aug. 3, 2021, photo shows Juneau International Airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration shared recommendations on Thursday for improving aviation safety in the state. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: How the FAA will improve the margin of aviation safety in Alaska

Alaska depends on aviation more than any other state…

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski speaks on a range of subjects during an interview with the Juneau Empire in May 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The best use of $25M Southeast Alaska Sustainable Strategy Fund

The entire $25 million should be provided to Alaska Marine Highway System.

Alexander B. Dolitsky
Opinion: Acculturation, assimilation and behavior

By Alexander B. Dolitsky I was a presenter at the Juneau–Gastineau Rotary… Continue reading

Most Read