Bill Barron is riding for the U.S. Senate. He’s on a 1200-mile bike campaign across Utah to compete against Sen. Orrin Hatch for one of Utah’s senate seats.
“It is a very non-traditional campaign,” he said.
Barron stopped in Moab Tuesday while on a bike ride that began at Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border Sept. 1.
He didn’t talk much about Hatch or Hatch’s politics. Nor did he say much about what he’d do in D.C. He spoke, rather, about his desire to facilitate ways that individuals and the country at large could shift from a dependence on fossil fuels, reduce carbon emissions, stimulate the economy and create more jobs.
“I saw running that as an unaffiliated candidate, I am able to speak up for an issue that main party politicians stay away from,” Barron said.
He’s part of the Citizens Climate Lobby, a non-partisan, non-profit that lobbies for federal legislation. He founded the Utah chapter of the lobby three years ago.
He said the solution is having the real costs fossil fuels be included upfront. He points to any other business having to be responsible for waste that is created, but at this time it isn’t occurring with fossil fuels.
“We’re way beyond what our planet can handle, and we can’t carry this lifestyle into the future,” he said.
He cited how climate change has created extreme weather events and droughts and can lead to food scarcity and the sea level rise and how people may be people displaced.
“Wouldn’t it be better to enact policy that works away from that future that we’re on track for instead of carrying on business as usual?” he asked. “We need to start placing fees on the source of carbon emission and hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the externalized costs of burning fossil fuels.”
His plan is to have a steadily increasing fee placed on carbon emissions to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the externalized costs of burning fossil fuels. That fee, however, would be returned to households equally to stimulate the economy. The plan also includes reducing subsidies to the oil industry over time.
“The irony: I don’t like politics at all, but I can’t bear to see this happening,” Barron said. “I’m willing to go against the lobbyists in the fossil fuel industry and take a stand.”