KUDOS TO your fine editorial “Salem gas plant must be a bridge, not a barrier, to clean energy” (Feb. 5), which presented the pros and cons of building a natural gas power plant in Salem. You were even-handed and balanced in your approach.
However, I wonder how builders of such a plant can demonstrate they intend it only to be a bridge to clean energy, as you suggest, rather than a barrier. It would not be in their economic interests to phase out the power plant.
There is one thing they can do. Footprint Power, which wants to build the plant, has its headquarters in Bridgewater, N.J. The congressman there is Leonard Lance, a Republican, who at one point supported legislation to limit carbon emissions, but has backtracked from that position. Footprint would show its commitment to clean energy if the company helped Lance return to acknowledging the urgency of climate change and encouraging his fellow Republicans to enact anti-emission legislation.
With Footprint’s support, Lance and other Republicans could write legislation for a national revenue-neutral carbon tax. Such a tax would offer a strong incentive to phase out natural gas in favor of renewables.