Letters | Pipeline gets attention in Maine

Firm would win points by joining protesters

A tanker prepared to offload crude oil in South Portland, Maine.
Fred Field for The Boston Globe
A tanker prepared to offload crude oil in South Portland, Maine.

The article “No end to oil fight” (Money & Careers, April 21) perfectly portrays the dilemma of fossil fuel companies fighting for survival in a world where they must dial back significantly on operations if modern society is to survive man-made catastrophic climate change. Rather than fighting protesters who are against the pipeline, Portland Pipe Line Corp. should be fighting for climate and energy legislation that provides direction and predictability for how the United States will wean itself off of fossil fuels.

The most promising and economically efficient way of doing that is to implement a gradually increasing tax on fossil fuels at their source and return all proceeds to households equally. Legislation proposed by Senators Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, includes a carbon tax, but the bill could be improved significantly by being made revenue neutral so it does not fund new government programs. With guaranteed price increases for fossil fuels in the pipeline for the foreseeable future, a US clean-energy revolution would begin for real.

Many of the protesters Portland Pipe Line is fighting support the idea of a revenue-neutral carbon tax. No one would question the company’s intention of being a good neighbor if it joined the protesters’ fight for a sustainable climate.

Gary Rucinski

Northeast regional coordinator

Citizens Climate Lobby