True energy independence

By KEN WHITON, President of REP’s New Mexico Chapter

AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Letter to the editor, Albuquerque Journal, April 22, 2002


Re:”US helps Saddam Every Time We Gas UP” by Gale Norton and James Hoffa in Sunday’s Journal. That statement, at least, is true.

However, the long term answer is not increased production. Nothing will change the fact that America has 3% of the world’s oil reserves and consumes 25% of the world’s current oil production. As long as we are dependent on oil, we will be dependent on foreign oil. Norton and Hoffa admit that in the future we will still need to import around 60% of our oil. The administration’s “Drill America First” policy is shortsighted and unpatriotic. It is also a “toxic cloud” that keeps us from clear thinking leading to real solutions.

The answer for the future lies in increased fuel efficiency, solar and wind energy and alternative fuels. This is where Norton and Hoffa have overlooked the great potential that New Mexico offers. New Mexico has solar and wind resources that can rival any other state and we are certainly no slouch in the oil and natural gas categories either. The Department of Energy’s web site estimates that for every barrel of oil extracted from existing wells, two barrels remain. The only requirement is the application of appropriate technology to get the rest out. Rather than waiting for a few “trickle down” jobs ten years from now when oil begins to flow from the Refuge in Alaska, why not focus now on more immediate results here in New Mexico? Let’s become generators and exporters of clean, renewable energy to the rest of the country and leave the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as it was when I saw it last summer: beautiful, unspoiled, wild and pristine.