Paul Wellman: Tipton’s commentary showed ‘willful ignorance’ |

Paul Wellman: Tipton’s commentary showed ‘willful ignorance’

In 2000, Sheikh Yamani, a former oil minister of Saudi Arabia, gave an interview in which he said, “Thirty years from now, there will be a huge amount of oil — and no buyers. Oil will be left in the ground. The Stone Age came to an end, not because we had a lack of stones, and the oil age will come to an end not because we have a lack of oil.”

I am struck by the willful ignorance of the Scott Tipton commentary “We must utilize vast natural resources” in the June 14 Steamboat Pilot & Today. Rep. Tipton is proving his sock puppet ties to the fossil fuel industry. Scott’s well-worn “Drill Baby Drill” spiel is a recipe for disaster.

I wholeheartedly agree with Anita Merrigan’s June 16 letter to the editor shining a light on Rep. Tipton’s obvious lies and deceit. I would like to add to Anita’s great observations.

Global warming, endless blood for oil wars, the effects of fracking, the excessive use of precious water, destruction of the environment — required to extract these ever more difficult to get at sources of energy — must be penciled into any equation regarding the economic and environmental consequences of pursuing the narrow-minded path Scott is promoting.

There are many more years of fossil fuels available, but the gravy is gone. The increased cost of production, coupled with the growing worldwide demand for energy, guarantee an ever-increasing cost of traditional energy sources. To suggest a huge sale of fossil fuels from the U.S. reserves to other countries, as Scott suggests, is crazy.

I say get rid of all tax breaks, subsidies, etc. to energy companies at the state and federal level and tax them fairly. Institute a carbon tax. Then, take this enormous amount of tax money and invest it wisely in long-term solutions to our crazy addiction to this very finite and heavily-polluting hydrocarbon resource.

The best strategy is to start conserving energy while, at the same time, developing any and all available alternative energy sources. Jobs training in wind and solar installation and maintenance is critical.

Invest money to develop state-of-the-art, energy-efficient buildings, equipment, sustainable energy technologies, rigorous recycling of materials, etc.

Wind, water and solar electricity are already cheaper than electricity produced by coal, and the cost is dropping. The cost of electricity from nuclear power plants is ridiculous, not to mention the inherent danger to the environment.

Mass production is driving down the cost of wind and solar as the cost of fossil fuel spirals ever upward. The flood of jobs created is amazing. This development assures our civilization’s continued viability into the distant future.

Paul Wellman


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