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Letter to the Editor: Look to renewable alternatives

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

To the editor:

As Americans feel the squeeze of high fuel prices, many politicians argue that offshore drilling is the answer to America's energy crisis.

Unfortunately, they are sadly mistaken. Lifting the congressional moratorium on offshore drilling will not provide immediate relief from soaring gas prices.

In fact, the few cents you might save per gallon would take about 10 years to trickle down to your pocketbook.

America holds roughly 3 percent of the world's oil reserves and consumes about eight times that.

Offshore drilling increases the likelihood of oil spills placing marine habitats in peril, exacerbates America's addiction to oil without solving it and allows Big Oil to continue to bank record profits.

Even the nonpartisan U.S. Energy Information Administration agrees that offshore drilling would have little to no effect on gas prices, even a decade from now.

Experts agree that we must make a radical shift in our energy policy within the next 10 years to avoid the serious problems posed by global warming.

Coincidentally, this is how long before offshore drilling could have any impact on gas prices.

Moreover, the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with offshore drilling create environmental problems that cannot be measured monetarily.

We cannot simply drill our way to energy independence.

When simplistic solutions that create environmental catastrophe are proposed to solve complex problems, we should recognize them for what they are and reject them in favor of genuine solutions.

Rather than support a destructive fuel technology with more drilling, we should move toward clean, renewable alternatives.

ADAM GOHN, Cape Girardeau