Katie Davis of the Sierra Club wrote a commentary (Voices, Feb. 3) critical of Plains Pipeline’s effort to repair or replace its broken pipeline. Her logic is that we don’t need oil. Ms. Davis’ utopian vision of a world without oil is sadly unrealistic and naive. Solar power and windmills are OK, but are never going to satisfy the world’s energy needs.
China and India alone are building a huge coal-fired power plant on the average of one per week. They will continue demanding more and more oil and coal. The United States is now the world’s biggest exporter. Thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling, more oil is being produced more efficiently and more safely than ever before. Repairing or replacing the pipeline will help prevent future mishaps and will help protect our environment.
Idealism is a virtuous thing, and if driving a Prius, for instance, makes her feel good, that’s great. But she should remember the car uses gasoline to make electricity, and the lubricants, tires, plastic seats and synthetic carpet all come from oil.
Ms. Davis also makes a connection between climate change and our recent fires. Our area has a long history of four- and five-year droughts. The key reason we had devastating fires and mud flows is because we stopped using controlled burns for decades thanks to her environmentalist friends. The frogs they were trying to protect are now gone thanks to their shortsightedness.
Let’s try to use a little better judgment about our world and our environment.