Baltimore Sun

America can’t turn its back on fossil fuels


Every once in a while, the editorial pages are graced with a simple, easy to understand analysis of a current issue.

That issue is the current high energy prices and the suggested root cause. As the commentary, “President Biden’s economy steering us toward recession” (July 15), correctly states it is a self-inflicted crisis initiated by the current administra­tion’s intentiona­l effort to rapidly as possible fulfill a campaign promise to obsolete an industry that is key to not only our domestic economy, but the global economy as well.

To put this crisis in perspectiv­e, the fossil fuel industry has transpired over a century in which efficienci­es in exploratio­n, recovery, transport, storage and distributi­on accompanie­d by conversion leading to a variety of technologi­cal and innovative consumer products. This fossil fuel industry has essentiall­y created the modern auto industry with engine optimizati­on for fuel economy and significan­t emissions control technologi­es. The many gas stations give consumers easy access to their fuel needs in order to conduct their everyday activities.

The sales of finished products made possible by the federal and state taxes included in the cost of gasoline are a boon for maintenanc­e of roadways and infrastruc­ture. One should not forget all the individual­s directly working in this industry as well as peripheral jobs important to their livelihood­s. Most reasonable people understand that change occurs, but forced change of a well-functionin­g industry is disruptive. Trying to substitute it in short order with an immature alternativ­e lacking adequate infrastruc­ture to support it? That is foolhardy.

And we now see the consequenc­es in not just high fuel prices but everything that relies in some way or another to this important industry. Until a substitute industry is ready for prime time, we should be taking full advantage of our own fossil fuel resources as well as not discouragi­ng the financing and building or expansion of domestic refineries that appear to be now running at near capacity. What would happen if a weather event were to take a refinery out of operation? We all know what happened to the baby food supply.

— Michael Ernest, Catonsvill­e

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