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Leaders should protect a community’s right to fight climate change

Dear Editor:

I just participated in my first day at the legislature and learned so much about how elected officials make decisions that impact my life, my family and community.

One item that disturbed me is to learn about a bill moving at the capitol that seems to prioritize a deal for utility companies at the cost of community and local governments.  As a deacon and regular voter, I vote for people at different levels of government to represent me.  I feel that local issues should be decided by local governments, such as ensuring cities should have their own choices about how to power homes and other buildings.

The oil and gas industry is backing this bill with misinformation. For example, a Southwest Gas lobbyist is claiming natural gas accounts for only four percent of carbon emissions every year. This statement is dangerously misleading especially at a time when we know we must address climate change.

Our leaders should be protecting communities’ right to fight climate change, not preventing them from taking action.

Ernesto Ramirez

Deacon, St. Agustin Church in Phoenix

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