We can’t drill our way out of problem

The following is a letter to the editor published July 30 in the South Bend Tribune)

We can’t drill our way out of problem

Responding to consumer outrage at the high cost of gasoline, the president and Congress (including Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Granger) are rushing to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and our coastal plains. Please listen, everyone: We cannot drill our way out of high prices and gas shortages. The oil derived from such drilling would be a decade away and a pittance of what we need — if it weren’t sold to China first.

Far more sensible solutions are to use what we have more wisely (energy efficiency) and to develop alternatives to the old, outmoded methods of digging and drilling. High gas prices and threats of global warming are spurring a race to solve the energy crisis technologically. Not only are strides being made in the familiar alternatives of wind and solar, but other innovations appear almost daily, such as transforming the energy of social dancers into electricity that powers the hall they’re dancing in!

The possibilities seem endless.

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Let’s rescind the tax breaks we’ve given the major oil companies, who have amassed almost $600 billion in profits since 2001, and devote the revenue instead to developing sensible and sustainable ways of meeting our energy needs.

Laura Fuderer
South Bend


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One Response to “We can’t drill our way out of problem”

  1. kathleen61 Says:

    If you drive on the bypass south of the ethanol plant in South Bend, you will notice a massive pile of coal on the west side of the facility. Why, I wondered, if we needed to move away from fossil-fuel-based energy, would there be coal at the ethanol plant? Isn’t it bad enough that a water-hungry plant like corn needed to be planted, harvested and transported using fossil-fuel-charged engines; what is mercury- and sulfur-spewing coal, mined at the risk of human life or blasted from mountain tops doing at an ethanol plant?

    According to a National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition posting:


    to produce ethanol requires at least two heating steps, once to separate the fermentable sugars and later to distill the water. I would guess that the mountain of coal at our ethanol plant is used for at least one of those heating processes needed for producing ethanol. Gee, doesn’t sound very environmentally friendly to me.

    This is a biofuel embraced by our not-so-progressive Congressman Joe Donnelly. Wait, it gets worse, he just introduced a bill to give TAX BREAKS to corporate entities to build pipelines to transport ethanol!

    What Donnelly OUGHT to be doing is funding the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program so cities like South Bend can finance emission-free hydroelectric, wind and solar generators.

    What Donnelly OUGHT to be doing is introducing TAX BREAKS to CITIZENS who install solar panels and wind turbines on their property.

    Donnelly’s “reassessment” of his stance against drilling in ANWR and in coastal waters should more accurately be described as a “reassessment” of his re-election bank account.

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