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Heat records are falling, but clean energy is advancing

We are at a crossroads: let’s move towards safe and healthy days for our communities.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) LJ Jenkins and RB Biel, employees of Elan Solar, install solar panels on a home in Santaquin on Friday, November 6, 2020.

Two newsworthy cases recently caught my attention. First the bad news: January 2024 was the eighth month in a row with record heat. This was the warmest January ever recorded, both on land and sea. This ongoing trend has many negative consequences: increased risk of disasters, rising insurance costs, and increasing food insecurity in parts of the world, to name a few.

The good news is that for the first time, 40% of America’s energy is free of polluting emissions, paving the way for a cleaner energy future. The article outlines how solar and natural gas have increased their market share while the once dominant coal sector has declined, pushing the clean energy mix above 40%. Momentum is building toward clean energy. Furthermore, clean energy investments are expected to lead to a 40% reduction in toxic air and carbon pollution over the next decade, accelerating the shift to cleaner, quieter and faster energy.

While I am happy to see progress, I worry that our political leaders will be faced with choices to slow or reverse this momentum, perhaps as a bargaining chip to avoid a government shutdown. I implore our House Representatives Celeste Maloy, John Curtis, Blake Moore, and Burgess Owens to support reasonable efforts to grow our clean energy sector.

We are at a crossroads: let’s move towards safe and healthy days for our communities.

David Kam, Salt Lake City

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