The wrong path to great energy policy

March 22, 2014 

The piece in the BND March 2, "Energy in America: Going from good to great," by Nicolas Loris of the Heritage Foundation, is classic magical short-term thinking that ignores the reality of our current and future energy situation. We are enjoying a surge of oil and gas production because of hydraulic fracturing, "fracking," which is highly polluting and ultimately unsustainable. The idea of exporting liquefied natural gas sounds good until one considers the lack of infrastructure to process and ship LNG plus the volatility of the stuff.

I agree that we should end subsidies for energy companies; in fact, I would end all corporate welfare and invest that money in an all-hands-on-deck Manhattan Project-like effort to shift from fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy. I totally disagree with the writer that we should reduce federal regulation of federal land and offshore sites. We saw how well lax regulation worked with the financial meltdown in 2008 and with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

To trust energy producers to regulate themselves is folly. The idea that we have 500 years worth of coal is patently false and ignores the environmental costs of coal. We're blowing the tops off of mountains and strip mining vast swaths of acreage to get at the stuff now. We need to face the reality that coal is dead; leave it in the ground and move on.

If this article is any example of what is coming from the Heritage Foundation, whoever is funding these guys is wasting his money.

Jim Goetz

New Baden

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