To the editor:
Please allow me to respond to the letter to the editor from Dick Baughman printed Nov. 13. First off, oil is not a free market commodity. The price is primarily moved by demand and manipulated by OPEC. A group of nations that does include Russia and other enemies of the U.S. that controls a huge percentage of oil flow in the world. No U.S. president has the ability to tell them what to do.
The price of oil in the U.S. is allowed to flow up or down with the rest of the world. The energy independence Mr. Baughman refers to was actually achieved during the Obama second term mostly because of his aggressive pursuit of fracking. Before that, the previous President Bush had brought us the $4+ gallon of gas.
The single biggest reason gas is as high as it is now is because the improving economies around the world are driving far greater demand — in turn raising prices. The second reason is because OPEC has been slow to increase supply — also driving up prices.
On renewable energy. No one is suggesting that we just discontinue the use of coal, gas and oil and somehow turn on the renewables. Most scientist are advocating for a slow transition that would take place over many decades. The truth is even if you don't believe in global warming, coal, gas and oil will all run out someday. While it may not happen real soon, I think it would be incredibly short sighted for the smartest species on the planet to not begin the process of transition to alternatives as soon as possible.
Renewable energy is not controlled by an outside source like OPEC and it also helps keep the price of oil, gas and coal down by reducing the demand on them. And speaking of jobs. Renewable energy jobs are among the fastest growing and better paying in the economy. There's no doubt they are cleaner for the environment.
I would also like to say that just because a pipeline may be stopped or delayed, that doesn't mean that whatever gas or oil won't be produced and brought to market. It just means that it will have to get there another way. I should also say that some people believe that the more pipelines we have the more likely attacks, cyber or otherwise, could hurt the nation even more.
In the big picture, there's always many more things to see and consider. Very often the biggest problem is far too many people make judgements completely lacking accurate historical perspective and/or current facts.