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Break our dependency on foreign oil

By Staff | Dec 10, 2009

To the editor,

Last Tuesday during his remarks to the Sanibel City Council, State Senator Garrett Richter raised the topic of offshore drilling as an issue that is of concern to Sanibel residents. He noted that there have been many improvements in the technology of extracting oil from the ocean floors and advised that there is a Florida state committee that is looking into the technology in order to advise state legislators on the potential impact if the Legislature votes to allow drilling off the coast of Florida.

While acknowledging that he is approaching the matter with an “open mind,” Sen. Richter advised that if he had to vote today on the matter, he would vote in favor of offshore drilling.

Part of Sen. Richter’s justification for his current support of offshore drilling is to relieve the nation’s dependency on foreign oil. While that perspective is important, it fails to address the more important concern of reducing the nation’s dependency on fossil fuels. That dependency has impeded serious efforts to focus on alternative fuels and, at the same time, has made us captives of middle eastern oligarchies.

At a moment when so much effort is finally being devoted to developing alternative sources of energy and Washington has begun belatedly to devote serious federal dollars to fund research in wind, solar and hydrogen power, it’s disappointing to hear a state leader speak in terms in support of yesterday’s technology.

Our nation must certainly break our dependency on foreign oil, but we must be careful not winding up replacing a foreign addiction for a domestic one.

Allan Silberman