Letter to the Editor (SD U-T) re Friedman Opinion (8-10-08)

Writing as an environmental attorney, I believe that Thomas L. Friedman’s “9/11 and 4/11” comparison was right on (“Blowing another chance to better the country,” Opinion, July 23). President Bush has always been a lame duck when it comes to solving our energy crisis. We cannot dig our way out of any problem, whether gas prices, energy needs or global warming. Any new discovery of oil in America would take years getting to market, but because it would be a minuscule portion of the world supply, up to 1 percent, prices would go up anyway due to soaring foreign demand.

Digging is no solution – only a prescription for falling deeper into oil addiction while ignoring a grave climate crisis. Spending nearly $700 billion a year for foreign oil, and then having to borrow from China and others to pay our bills, has made us acutely vulnerable. If we think we can dig our way out of the energy and climate crises, we might as well keep digging to China. Investing heavily now in clean energy would spur innovation and jobs and keep dollars here. I urge we tax carbon, cap and trade carbon credits, and displace foreign oil with renewable energy as fast as we can. Oil from domestic production in existing leased areas can help industries with the greatest need and difficulty moving to carbon-free technologies.

San Diego


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