I am concerned with the proposed tax bill currently going through Congress. This year has seen record-breaking storms that were exacerbated by climate change. Instead of doing anything to encourage renewable energy, the tax bill undermines credits for wind energy and electric vehicles, while proposing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling for oil.

Supporting expansion of fossil fuel production is no different than advocating for global warming. Only two months ago, Sen. Susan Collins expressed alarm at the GAO study’s estimated $35 billion per year in disaster relief. This year has seen more than $200 billion in hurricane damages. Congress already approved more than $50 billion in relief funds and nothing has been decided yet on relief for the wildfires still burning.

In light of all that, it seems difficult to justify endorsing new drilling, projected to bring in only $1 billion in revenue through 10 years.

Despite Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s declaration, there is no such thing as “responsible energy development” in ANWR. Native tribes depend on the proposed drilling site for their very existence. The Arctic is a fragile ecosystem and any damage would last for decades.

Sen. Collins has had a strong history of fighting for the environment. I encourage her to maintain that stance and vote against the proposed tax bill.

Kate Weatherby, New Sharon

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