Kenai council should not sign climate compact

Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I respectfully disagree with your Sunday editorial calling on the Kenai City Council to support the climate change compact. I agree with you that the earth is warming and the increase in CO2 is a contributing factor, but everything else presented as a justification to sign the compact is disputable. Tesoro's spending of $45 million to upgrade their refinery is highly commendable, and is being paid for by consumers by an increase in diesel price. They could just as easily not upgraded, and Alaska would have had to import ULS diesel at an even higher cost. That is what Europe is doing.

By signing the compact, the Council, representing the residents of Kenai would agree to support an as yet to be determined piece of legislation. Once the cap and trade bill is signed, Tesoro, and the other refineries in the state would have the option of either buying the CO2 permits or shutting down. If they did buy the CO2 permits, residents in Kenai would have to pay the added cost, which could be as much as $2 a gallon for liquid fuels. The North Slope Borough operates two refineries in Alaska and have already gone on record they would shut down under the current cap and trade legislation (either bill) Congress is considering. I'm all for saving the planet, but I really don't want to risk losing our in-state refineries as a result.

To paraphrase Czech Republic President (and economist) Vaclav Klaus' in his book on the subject, there is more to cap and trade than meets the eye. And the problem of global warming can only be addressed through prosperity, not crippling the U.S. economy. The AP article on the same page quotes a poll that says the public would support a $10 a month cap and trade tax. That's all fine and dandy but even the "conservative" White House estimate of pending bills is over $140 a month. The Council would do the residents of Kenai a service by not signing the compact.

Mike Beck


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