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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about offshore oil drilling.

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Can domestic drilling provide US energy independence?

Regarding your June 20 editorial, "Yes to offshore oil, but not now": Even if the United States outer continental shelf (OCS) were opened today, the Energy Information Administration expects that oil production could not begin before 2018.

The estimates of how much oil and gas are recoverable from the OCS are guesses, not facts.

Projected production figures to 2030 are based on a very unreliable mean of two extreme guesses. Both the Pacific and Atlantic OCS are known to have smaller potential deposits, and an unknown number of them may not be economically feasible to exploit.

Even the paltry benefits from increased production disappear if demand increases unabatedly.

We would do much better to formulate energy policies that address our real problems and forget such meaningless side issues as finding and burning the last remaining little bits of petroleum in North America.

In response to your recent editorial on offshore oil drilling: The current economic problem is that there are no alternatives to oil usage in the short term; not ethanol, natural gas, wind, or nuclear. Each of these is so minuscule in relation to conversion or build-out time that they are negated in the short term.

Raising prices without raising domestic production solves nothing in the short or long term.

If we do not approach this current shortage in two ways – drill here and refine here – then there will never be enough energy to make our economy secure through use of those other sources.

Saving oil for future generations sounds altruistic, but it is best for countries that produce nothing else, i.e., Saudi Arabia.

The US economy is more diverse, and needs all types of energy to continue its growth and prosperity, so the only short-term, practical solution is to drill and refine here.


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