Letter: Cheap oil and natural gas is good news
The Post Independent editor’s piece titled “Cheap oil: breathing room to get off fossil fuels” made some valid points but erred on one important conclusion. Cheap oil and natural gas will lead to more reliance on fossil fuels over renewables because entities that decide what fuels to use to meet their demands will buy the cheapest fuel.
Renewable sources are more expensive and were not competitive with fossil fuels without government subsidies with oil at $100 per barrel and natural gas at $8 per MCF. Now with prices half that, guess what buyers will choose? Governments at several levels have propped up renewables with subsidies. You can agree or disagree with whether that should have been done, but the fact is we tax and rate payers are carrying an extra economic burden that rises each year.
One other point: The editor stated that fossil fuel resources are finite. They are not within the context of human life spans. Each decade that passes shows that with new technology more oil and gas is found, and there are huge sources such as oil shale and gas hydrates that have not even been touched. The fact is renewables are not infinite, as is often alleged, because there are economic, social and land use restrictions that limit their use in the future. So let’s drop that argument against fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels have raised the standard of living and life expectancy for us and for people around the world for the past century. As long as fossil fuels are available, can be produced economically and meet health-based standards, we should continue to use them to benefit mankind.
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