Consider the price we pay for the Obama administration’s myopic neglect of domestic oil production, so painfully evident in the kowtowing to the Green Lobby that wants to end the use of fossil fuels.
The administration has thwarted efforts to open up new offshore areas for deepwater drilling, slow-walked permitting for oil production at existing wells in coastal waters, blocked construction of the Keystone pipeline and refused to allow drilling in the resource-rich Alaska wilderness. It has imposed more-stringent air-quality regulations on refineries at a time when gasoline prices are approaching European levels.
We still import about 40 percent of the oil we use and stand alone as the only country not aggressively seeking new domestic supplies. We sit on tens of billions of barrels of oil in offshore frontier areas and are not allowed to access it.
The need for a shift in energy policy is no less true for coal, which accounts for the lion’s share of Ohio’s electricity generation and underpins our state’s economy. Instead of pretending that coal is dispensable, the Department of Energy needs to work in tandem with industry to fund projects for advanced coal technologies such as ultra super-critical pulverized coal and coal gasification.
With new and better leadership in Washington, U.S. oil and gas production will grow significantly, the outlook for coal will improve, energy supplies will be more secure. Our nation will have more leverage in dealing with crises.
It makes economic sense in terms of providing jobs, raising revenue and ramping up manufacturing in cities and communities across the country. That’s a far better sight than blindly declaring war on fossil fuels.
J. E. (Jack) Katlic
Editor’s note: Katlic is a retired senior vice president of American Electric Power and a past chairman of the National Coal Association.
A nation of low expectations
I applaud Gary Eaton’s April 22 letter, “Route to mediocrity.” I have no way of knowing Eaton’s age, but what I do know is that this road began decades ago.
For everyone who can remember the brilliant comedian and author Steve Allen, this is old news. When I was a child and he was on the Today Show, he began to speak of “the dumbing down of America.”
Yes, this was in the late 1950s and very early 1960s. What Allen knew and observed was that a wave of change was on the horizon. In his fashion, and maintaining his sharp wit, he began to speak of it frequently. Sadly, most ignored it.
As ever, he was a man ahead of his time. What a shame it is that we now view ambition, persistence, drive and real accomplishment as something that many want, but that most don’t want to achieve through hard work.
We have private schools, tutoring, mentoring and college, but the prime example of Steve Allen’s insight and Gary Eaton’s thoughts is that some colllege freshmen are now taking remedial reading and math. Is this not the dumbing down of America?
It is a sorry thing when, in order to not hurt feelings and avoid the pressures that raise the bar of expectations, we accept any and all rides on the route to mediocrity.
Not a budget of Christian values
Why does Paul Ryan say that his budget follows Catholic doctrine? Anyone at all familiar with Catholicism knows that, like all Christian faiths, it stresses caring for the less advantaged. Leading bishops across the country certainly know this and have strongly objected to Ryan’s characterization, saying his budget blueprint “fails to meet these moral criteria” of protecting the poor.
They went further, saying that the Ryan budget would savage services for the poor simply to benefit the wealthy. Of course, when these same bishops complain about contraception coverage or abortion, Republicans are all too happy to cite their support. Now that they’re on the receiving end of the criticism, they’re quick to reject the bishop’s position, saying that they need to take a bigger look at the issue.
The hypocrisy of all conservatives who call themselves Christians, not just Catholics, regarding caring for the poor is a longstanding position. I have never understood why so many conservative Christians fight so hard to protect the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the poor.
Ryan’s budget is terrible fiscal policy, and it doesn’t even bring down the deficit. The proposed cuts to Medicaid would cause an estimated 14 million people to lose their health insurance.
All but 10 Republicans voted for this mess, and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, strongly supports it.
But until now, I didn’t think any of them would actually claim it was because of their religion that they supported these policies.
Or perhaps they know this is false, and they’re taking a page from the Karl Rove playbook — say that your weakness is instead your strength. Hopefully, this is one time this subterfuge will not sell.
One man’s opinion
Regarding the April 20 letter from Pat Taylor headlined “Broken hearts and parishes”: As the president of the Mark Heffernan Division #2 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, I would like to express that the letter does not reflect the beliefs of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America.
Taylor’s letter is a reflection of his personal opinions and not those of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians is a Irish Catholic Fraternal organization that can trace its roots back to a parent organization of the same name, which has existed in Ireland for more than 300 years.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians in America was founded in New York in 1836 to protect the Roman Catholic clergy.
Neil P. McGowan
Mark Heffernan Division #2
Ancient Order of Hibernians