“Who will clean up Alaska’s ‘orphaned’ oil infrastructure?” [Sept. 13, Opinion] is an excellent question, and applies not just to Alaska. But we have a model to follow: Congress requires the United States Postal Service to fund 75 years of pension liability from operating revenue. Why not require the fossil-fuel companies to identify and cover the expense for 75 years of cleanup from their drilling and production instead of leaving us holding the bag for this, as has happened in Alaska?
Many will argue that such an accounting of the full cost of fossil-fuel exploration would make fossil fuels economically unviable, which, of course, is precisely the point. Without such a fair accounting of their full price, fossil fuels are unfairly subsidized by taxpayers in Alaska and elsewhere to the tune of tens of billions in cleanup costs.
It’s a simple principle we all learn as children: If you make the mess, clean it up.
Mike Kelly, Bainbridge Island