Domestic oil production is the way to less dependency

Published: Thursday, September 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 1, 2005 at 12:01 a.m.
It is surprising, given our growing dependence on imported oil, that many still pursue the misguided policy of opposing more domestic production.
Nicole Sand's recent letter expressing her opposition to opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to limited production reflects this shortsightedness.
We now import 60 percent of our oil; and that number could rise to 73 percent by 2025. Much of our oil comes from the dangerous Middle East and other countries of questionable stability.
As current oil production in Alaska drops, it benefits all of us to increase Alaska oil production elsewhere. Congress and the president should open ANWR.
This would not be a case where Washington imposes its will over the objections of the locals. The people of Alaska support opening ANWR, as do the governor, the entire congressional delegation, and the Alaska legislature.
Over 30 years ago, oil production started at Prudhoe Bay and there has been no environmental degradation.
In fact, the number of caribou has increased. Production at ANWR would be limited to a minuscule portion of the reserve, leaving the vast majority untouched. Additionally, new technology now available would further minimize the "human footprint."
We need more alternative and renewable energy sources. However, until we realize these technological breakthroughs, we are still dependent on oil.
It makes sense to produce more oil in Alaska rather than continuing to rely on importing it from overseas.
John S. Clark, Gainesville

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