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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

February 10, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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U.S. becoming the world's top energy producer

Why aren’t we working toward sustainable and renewable energy?

I was dismayed to discover that the focus of the article “U.S. closing in on energy independence” [News, Feb. 8], was not sustainable, renewable energy but expansion of oil and natural gas extraction through hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Climate change is real, and unless we cease burning fossil fuels, our lifestyle is not only unsustainable but unsurvivable. Creating a few jobs is no justification for drilling, which seals our fate as a species. Why not create many more jobs installing solar panels, geothermal-heating systems, and wind turbines all across the country? These forms of energy are clean and renewable.

Much of the fuel generated through fracking will be exported. Drilling is not about domestic security but about companies making profits in a dead-end, destructive business. Fracking diverts funding from cleaner alternatives that benefit people in the U.S.

In 2006, Washington state voters passed I-937, the Clean Energy Initiative, which requires large utilities to obtain 15 percent of energy from clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal energy by 2020.

We are on our way to meeting that goal. That is energy independence worth celebrating.

— Meighan Pritchard, Seattle

It is time to think about the long-term effects

The article about energy from the Bloomberg News was amazing in what it did not discuss. Although it mentioned in a sentence or two that the price of fossil fuels is now so low that wind power generators are no longer cost effective, it didn’t even mention the fate of solar generation that is so effective in other countries.

Global warming is real and the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels is contributing to the greenhouse effect. We should not be promoting fossil fuels even though they are cheap. The effect on water from the extracting process should be carefully evaluated. Fossil fuels have extremely serious long-term costs which should be factored in immediately

Worse yet, the problem of what happens after the present supply of gas and oil runs out is not even alluded to. We seem to think it is a good idea to use up these newly available resources as quickly as possible. We cut all the virgin old-growth timber because it was there and are now fishing some fish to extinction.

Now is the time to think very carefully about the long-term effects of using irreplaceable resources.

— Mary Bicknell, Seattle

It is time to go further

This is all well and good but we need to go further. We have enough oil potential within the 50 states that we can influence the price of crude oil.

We need to go further and dominate the worldwide price of crude and use this as political muscle to stop our financing the attacks on us by the current Middle East suppliers as well as others. Let’s go on the attack and use oil instead of bullets.

We have been financing our enemies long enough.

— William D. Hodge Jr., Maple Valley


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