Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stop clinging to fossil fuels

Now that all the easy-to-reach deposits of oil and natural gas have been harvested, the industry is resorting to more expensive and environmentally risky methods of extraction that include offshore, deep-well drilling, pressuring Congress to open up wildlife sanctuaries, the Keystone XL Pipeline and injection well "fracking." Clearly these are indications of an industry that has reached its peak production output and is now grasping to harvest every untapped source of fuel left on the planet regardless of the risks.

Despite the ridiculous assurances of industry geologists and the unlikely promises made by oil and natural gas executives (see story in Mountain Express from Feb. 8, Page A12) the Idaho Legislature has recently lifted our state's ban on fracking. This controversial descision was hastily made with virtually no input from the public, little regard for the well-being of our Mother Earth and at the expense of possible contamination to water sources in southwestern Idaho.

Of course, if all goes well, gas and oil companies will profit from this legislative action. A number of jobs will be created and for a few more years our society will continue clinging to the current climate changing and pollution-causing fossil-fuel paradigm.

Wouldn't it be wiser for national and state elected officials to realize that the world is running out of oil and help to transition our economy and industrial base by supporting technologies that offer clean, renewable solutions? Doesn't it make more sense to strengthen our clean and renewable energy infrastruture, create jobs that contribute to the health of our planet and move forward with improved standards of efficiency and conservation? The sooner lawmakers decide to embrace practical eco-friendly solutions, and the underlining tenet that pure water, healthy soil, clean air and peace amongst nations is more precious than oil, the better.

John Caccia


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