Letters to the Editor

We can’t allow Nipomo refinery expansion

We must not allow the expansion of the refinery in Nipomo. Not for the environmental stress, not for the sake of jobs (I imagine whale hunters didn’t starve to death when we decided not to do that any more), it’s due to the industry’s demise.

Photovoltaic markets are expanding 50 percent per year worldwide. Many nations get substantial electricity from wind, Denmark averaging 34 percent.

This, while oil industries have higher costs of exploration and extraction, and lower demand and product price. Shell Oil just abandoned an $8 billion exploration effort in the Arctic, and Exxon announced 7,000 layoffs, in an industry that has seen 300,000 lose their jobs. Trillions in investments in the carbon industries have been divested, now many are required to reinvest in renewables, and Wall Street is watching.

Paraphrasing Amory Lovins: Investing in carbon extraction or new power plants in the face of renewable mandates and expanding carbon trading, is akin to buying up carriage-makers as the automobile was poised to solve Londonʼs horse manure crisis.

We cannot simultaneously develop carbon extraction and jump on the expanding, bright new world of clean air, water, job creation and great standard of living.

Allen Root, San Luis Obispo

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