MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

June 29, 2013

Environment requires regulation

— Social evolution takes a long time. Government regulation is necessary at times to speed the process.

That’s the hope for President Barack Obama’s plan to combat climate change.

Clean air and clean water should be high on everyone’s priority list.

That’s not always the case, because money changes perspective.

If clean air and water could be achieved without government intervention, it would have happened already.

And global warming would not be considered a political dispute. It would either be a scientific fact or not.

But because clean air and water will require some financial pain somewhere down the line, those priorities will differ from person to person.

Many people agree that clean air is important. They may agree that coal-fired electricity plants contribute to the problem.

But faced with the bill — in the form of higher utility rates — many of those will change priorities.

If companies could change without losing money, we think they would.

If companies could change and become better stewards of the environment and make more money, we are certain they would change.

And, we are certain that clean air and water will become a priority at some point in the future.

That’s how society evolves.

Look at the many changes this country has gone through since its creation.

Society will embrace the environment at some point in the future.

Until then, it is up to the government to try to protect us from ourselves.

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