Letter to the Editor: The U.S. needs to remain energy independent as it moves toward clean energy production
I was working for Exxon in 1973 when the Arab-Israeli War started the Arab oil embargo. Between 1973-74, we experienced a large reduction in the supply of crude oil here, which drove prices to record highs. There were long lines at gas stations. During this time, increased amounts of ethanol (a fuel oxygenate, but a very poor fuel) were introduced into our gasoline. They are still in our gasoline at even higher levels today and do nothing for fuel mileage. This was followed by the Iranian Revolution in 1979, which again limited our supply of energy. Inflation went into double digits. Sound familiar?
Developed nations were unprepared for these events. It taught the U.S. to place greater emphasis on minimizing foreign dependence. Until 2019, and due to the large investments in shale oil, the U.S. was energy independent. We were exporting crude oil, fuels and petroleum-based products.
Massive solar and wind energy generation depend on expensive batteries on a large scale to ensure power when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining like it does every night. Batteries are hardly environmentally friendly. Since they don’t last forever, they add to both their initial expense and maintenance costs during their lives.
The same problems exist with electric cars. Their sticker prices ($70,000 – $110,000+) are higher than most conventional gas-operated cars. Their so-called savings over time assumes that the electric power for charging is free. It isn’t, and electric costs are rising nearly as fast as gas prices. These factors are consistently ignored by “green” energy activists. Ethanol is just a very poor fuel.
I understand climate enthusiasts desire to move quickly from fossil fuel for our energy needs, but wanting it done almost immediately is like trying to ask a 2-week-old baby to walk.
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