To the editor:
It has been a week since a group of major corporations issued a "Call for Swift Action on Global Climate Change." There has not been much local media coverage on this group or their plan.
The United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) includes corporations such as Alcoa, BP American, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, DuPont and General Electric. None of these companies are local and that accounts for the lack of media coverage. Where are Westar and Sunflower Electric Power?
Not surprisingly, USCAP recommendations include the use of market mechanisms to address global climate change. They call for an approach that includes a cap and trade program. That is a system to set limits on emissions and allow trading between companies whose emissions are less than the cap and those who exceed the limit. This would provide economic incentives for producers of greenhouse gases to reduce emissions.
The Kansas Legislature is considering a different type of incentive. That is a 10-year property tax exemption for nuclear power development in Coffey County. National tax incentives are a bit larger. The New York Times (Jan. 25) reported that the 2005 energy act included tax incentives, loan guarantees and other spending amounting to $13 billion for oil, $12 billion for nuclear and $8 billion for an assortment of energy sources including renewable.
Imagine an energy policy that included no subsidies, each energy source priced to include all costs including impacts on health and environment, and consumers having free choice in purchasing. I wonder about the consequences of this type of policy. We know the consequences of current policy.