To the editor:
Having read the letter to the editor by John S. Kinkaid, I feel compelled to provide an alternative perspective. I certainly regret the possible loss of jobs caused by reduced use of coal; one of my grandfathers worked for many years as a coal miner in Mount Harris.
To be most effective, one needs to use the best arguments — there is, as yet, no such thing as clean coal. Our cleaned up power plants are still very dirty. It is distressing to me that so little is being done locally to develop clean coal. It would be most reasonable for our local energy companies to be spending much more of their vast resources on developing clean energy. Coal is the greatest source of energy in the U.S. — we must learn to use it properly.
While no one wants excessive regulation, there is near universal acceptance of the fact that our current economic problems were caused by inadequate regulation of the financial industry. The recent coal mine deaths in West Virginia would not have happened had there been better regulation or enforcement of regulations.
To understand why there is a growing problem with energy, you have to look wider.
When China has a dust storm, the sunsets turn red in Craig.
After World War II, the U.S. had a huge advantage in science, engineering and manufacturing; that advantage has been slowly going away.
China recently surpassed America as the largest car market. Since they have four times our population, they will dwarf our sales one day.
The same change is occurring for other energy uses, such as manufacturing. Even though we invented and developed television, no television sets are currently manufactured in the USA. Essentially all electronics manufacturing is now done in Asia.
When you fill up your tank, you are competing with everyone else in the world for that gas.
Energy of all sorts is becoming more expensive, no matter what President Obama does.
Rather than trying to set the calendar back, we need to work for the world that is coming. We should be manufacturing wind turbines and other sources of clean energy here. Of greatest local concern, we should be developing the technology that will let Denver burn our coal without leaving them in an ugly brown cloud.
Rather than trying to stop the inevitable, we should be trying to get compensation for our losses, something that will build for the future.