September 1, 2009

Alaska feels heat with climate legislation

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In a state where nearly one-third of the job force works in the oil industry, Alaskans are feeling the heat on climate legislation. Hundreds of people are meeting in rallies and discussions about the American Clean Energy and Security Act, a bill Congress is considering that would levy additional costs on the oil industry, reports Elizabeth Bluemink of the Anchorage Daily News.

Opponents of the bill’s cap-and-trade system worry it will hurt the economy by forcing oil jobs offshore, leaving individuals jobless and independent refineries bankrupt.

Supporters say the long-term environmental and economic costs of not implementing the bill would be much higher than the economic ones in the near future. Alaska is already experiencing melting sea ice and permafrost, and warmer temperatures are threatening coastal life from fish to humans, as InvestigateWest reported earlier.

– Emily Linroth

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