Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions


Source: Newsday

Letters: Gas energy isn't the best bet

Readers respond to an op-ed by T. Boone Pickens about energy issues.

Posted: October 22, 2012
Originally Published: October 19, 2012

In response to "We need a serious energy debate" [Opinion, Oct. 15], writer T. Boone Pickens got it right when he said that energy needs to be the focus of the upcoming election. But let's not center this critical discussion on a false choice between filthy foreign oil and damaging domestic gas.

Dirty drilling for gas, known as fracking, has led to drinking water contamination, public health problems and scarred communities in many of the places where it's occurred. As the wells dry up, so do the jobs, creating nothing more than another boom-and-bust cycle. Like oil, gas is a finite resource and therefore, even though it may be cheap today, it will surely be expensive someday.

Pickens gives no mention of the cheapest, cleanest and safest ways to address our energy crisis: conservation and efficiency. This may not make him more money, but it does provide Americans with the greatest economic and environmental benefit. In addition, renewable energy resources such as wind and solar are clean, homegrown and abundant, especially right here on Long Island, where offshore winds leave plenty of potential.

Unfortunately, our nation's energy policies continue to favor the status quo, by providing billions in corporate welfare to the fossil fuel industry while doing too little for efficiency and renewables. In fact, the production tax credit for wind is set to expire at the end of the year. The failure of Congress to signal an intention to extend the credit has already killed wind projects throughout the nation, and thousands of jobs along with them.

Tara Bono, Seaford
Editor's note: The writer is a program coordinator for Citizens Campaign for the Environment, an advocacy organization.