Letters for Saturday, June 7, 2008

• Change ways, not drill more

• Energy plan the problem

• Pedal a different path

Change ways, not drill more

It’s a shame the Bob Younts of the world continue to peddle the misinformation some in the oil industry and their lackeys in the Republican party put forward as regards gasoline prices and oil supplies (“We should drill our own,” Letters, June 6).

There is no way to drill our way out of our liquid-fuel energy price crisis. Drilling the Alaskan wildlife reserve at best will produce about 1 million barrels of crude oil per day in perhaps six to eight years time. Compare that to our current overall use of crude and products of about 20 million with imports of roughly 13 million per day. This has doubled since 1990. Anyone can see a 5 to 8 percent domestic increase is just a drop in the bucket.

Thinking that drilling ANWR will bring back $2-a-gallon gas is on a par with belief in the fantasy that we can grow enough corn or sugar to produce enough ethanol to do anything more than drive food prices up. Ethanol is another fantasy solution for the U.S. as a whole.

There is only one short term solution to the spiking price of oil and gas — conserve. Cutting back your use cuts your costs immediately and has the added effect of putting downward pressure on the oil market. America simply cannot continue to use 25 percent of the world’s petroleum for 5 percent of the world’s population like we’ve done for the last decade.

Conserve, switch to a hybrid or smaller vehicle, car pool, use the bus, walk, or ride a bike. These things can help. Waiting for the tooth fairy to bring us more oil is just a fantasy. The days of cheap petroleum are ending.

David Camp


Energy plan the problem

I would like to respond to the letter (“We should drill our own,” Letters, June 6) by Bob Yount.

First Yount states, “The real cause is a Congress that has thwarted efforts to do more drilling or build more refineries. Much of this is due to environmentalists.”

Most people believe the current high prices are an effect of the Bush/Cheney energy plan, which was to disrupt oil supplies in oil rich countries like Iraq, or alienating oil rich countries like Venezuela.

Yount then states, “As I have stated before, the sight of oil rigs off any of our coasts doesn’t please me, but I really would like to go back to $2 per gallon gas.”

Only a few cents per gallon is tax, the rest is profit for U.S. oil companies who have set record profits every quarter since the Bush/Cheney energy plan went into effect.

Maybe we should be hoping for more fuel-efficient cars since oil is a resource that will be gone one day, not to mention the pollution it causes.

Yount also states, “If our country goes into a depression, it will not be because of the sub-prime housing mortgage crisis, it will be because of the price of oil. I am not encouraged that our Congress has the sense to do what should be done.”

Our country has held off a recession since 2001 because the fed kept lowering the rate until anyone and everyone could afford what would be their current mortgage.

And when the rates went up, then we saw foreclosures.

Prior to Bush/Cheney we had a balanced budget, now whole generations will be paying off the deficits raised over the last seven years, financed through T-bills to China, Japan and England, over the next 30 years at 4 percent interest.

That means your children and their children will be wondering where their Social Security went.

Short sightedness has always been America’s worst enemy. We should always look to the long term in making decisions, not the short-term fix that lasts a few short years.

As for Congress, America has been hurt deeply by the Republican Congress who fought only for the wealthy, and who in a cowardly way fights to keep our brave soldiers in harms way in Iraq.

If the Republican Congress has their way, our brave soldiers will be in Iraq for 100 years and we will only see things get passed in Congress that profit the very fortunate few.

Dennis Chaquette


Pedal a different path

What a terrific cartoon in Friday’s paper (the guy constructing a bicycle out of the gas price numbers).

We bicyclists really have an edge on folks who rarely, if ever, swing a leg over two wheels: the rest of you might just have to catch up to us.

When I’m riding, I’ll admit that I rejoice when I see the ever-increasing gas prices. And I’ll admit that when I’m driving, they hurt — but they do give me even more reason to get out and pedal.

Mahalo to all of you courteous drivers. Your patience and goodwill is much appreciated. For those of you who aren’t quite conscious of what we bicyclists must contend with — narrow lanes, rough and debris-strewn shoulders (or not shoulders at all) and speeding vehicles — perhaps we’ll just chalk up your behavior as being due to frustration at the cost of driving and envy of those of us who already ride.

And to the young man who chucked a partly full beer can at me yesterday (Thursday, June 5) on Nawiliwili Road, one of these days maybe you’ll have the opportunity to grow up and empathize with people who are pedaling a different path.

Ann Leighton



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