Friday, July 11, 2008

Leading By Example: Knapp Campaign Goes "Carbon-Neutral"

POC Thomas L. Knapp


St. Louis - Voters normally expect a certain amount of hot air from politicians, but Libertarian congressional candidate Thomas L. Knapp announced this morning that he intends to cool things down by running a "carbon-neutral" campaign.

"It's just the right thing to do," says Knapp, 41, of Greendale. "Every politician I see out on the stump has big plans for addressing climate change ... but those plans never seem to include leading by example. I want to look back in November and know that I was part of the solution rather than part of the problem."

Knapp arrived at his campaign's estimated carbon footprint by running projected travel mileage and electricity use through several online footprint calculators. "Then," he says, "I added a fudge factor to account for things like printing and shipping of campaign materials." He purchased a six ton Verified Emissions Offset credit for about $40 from a firm which in turn invests in emissions-reducing projects such as generation of electricity from landfill gas in Illinois. He plans to revisit his calculations in October and purchase additional offsets if necessary to maintain carbon neutrality.

"Libertarians believe that the market provides the most efficient avenue for addressing problems like pollution and climate change," says Knapp. "We also believe that Americans are, in general, responsible individuals who will do the right thing when they can. I switched to energy-saving CFL lightbulbs and a gasless 'reel' lawnmower without anyone in government forcing me to." His campaign platform includes ending corporate welfare that subsidizes polluting industries, and leaving far more money in taxpayers' pockets, where he predicts that it will combat climate change more effectively than it would in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.

Knapp is unopposed in his candidacy for the Libertarian Party's nomination in Missouri's 2nd US House district. He'll face off with incumbent Republican Todd Akin of Chesterfield and an as-yet unchosen Democratic nominee, in November. The Libertarian Party, founded in 1972, is America's third largest political party and has been an established party in Missouri since 1992. Their 2008 slate includes candidates for statewide office as well as congressional, state legislative and local seats.

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