The issue: But we must take care to protect environment while seeking new drilling sites
Ho! Ho! Ho!
America got an early Christmas gift this year with the news that as a nation we’re about to become energy-independent — at least in terms of fossil fuels.
THE ENERGY Department reported last week that in 2012, America has produced 83 percent of all the energy it needed to power its automobiles and airplanes this year and is on course to be 100 percent energy-independent next year.
And that should be a sign of relief to us all.
For now, at least, we’re not as linked to unstable oil reserves in the Middle East or elsewhere. The United States is poised to pass Saudi Arabia as the largest oil-producing nation on Earth. And we’re making significant progress on the alternative energy front, with more power coming from solar, wind, biomass and geothermal sources.
But there are two caveats to this good news.
One is that our energy independence is being driven in large part by new technological breakthroughs that allow drilling for oil in challenging areas and difficult geological formations. It’s expensive, and the environmental damage that such drilling might cause is not yet fully known.
We need to know the costs and the dangers and take steps to keep the production rolling along with minimal damage to our pocketbooks and our environment.
And second, now is not the time to quit conserving. Every gallon of fuel we don’t consume now is a gallon we can save for later generations and more taxing times.
BUT ENJOY THE good news.
We’ve given ourselves and our children a gift that will keep on giving.