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Letter: Unsustainable

Re “Climate change skeptics take aim at state energy mandates” (Sunday Monitor front page, Nov. 25):

Heartland Institute spokesman James Taylor’s confident assertion that “renewable energy, is more expensive than conventional energy” is disingenuous at best, mendacious at worst. While oil, coal and natural gas appear cheaper initially, once externalities are included, the cost goes through the roof.

Let’s start with the enormous government subsidies to fossil fuel industries – since our tax money is what makes the price of these conventional energy sources so low to begin with, we’ve already paid once at the pump before we even start filling our tanks.

Next, let’s remember that tankers run aground, pipelines leak, and pumping stations can aren’t exactly disaster-proof. Who cleans up after catastrophic spills? Once again, American taxpayers are on the hook; while companies may pay some fines, these never actually cover the cost of such a disaster. Instead, mopping up and decontamination comes out of our wallets. The public health and environmental effects of coal and oil are handled similarly.

On a larger scale, the grim fact is that America’s military power is often part of the geopolitical strategy of energy. Would conservatives be beating the war drums so vigorously if Iran had no oil? These costs should properly be added to the bill for fossil fuels as well. Finally, it’s no longer feasible to deny either the existence of global climate change or the role of conventional fuels in the accelerating greenhouse effect. Far from being cheap, fossil fuels may well wind up costing us everything we value, and more.


Medford, Mass.

Legacy Comments9

Wood Pellets is the way to go !!!!!! Wake up People !!! Local grown heat and local burned heat !!!!!!!!! That's the Way baby !!!!!!! No Money to Canada or the Mid. East !!! it all stay's Here !!!!!! ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, NHD Dukester & Charlie ! Driver , Duke & Chaerluiie

Um..."No Money to Canada or the Mid. East !!!"....Question...what do the trucks, skidders, chain saws, pellet plants, fork trucks, and cranes run on??? Solar power???

In reply to SCO below: Thanks very much for the all caps good luck wish. "hundreds of Republican amendments were adopted during the committee mark-up process": Take your pick from this "List of Lawyers in the 111th Congress": Oh, and let's not leave out Kelley Ayotte, former NH Attorney General lawyer type. Thomas Jefferson said, "If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour? " I guess they do understand the math involved in "talk by the hour"

So, for the record, you identified ALL the lawyers in congress and NO specific amendments. Bravo!!!

There was a link provided. Copy and paste - no math even required.

I agree - we should be paying all costs of foreign energy at the pump. For example, taxpayers are spending roughly $100 billion each year just to provide free military security for corporations to ship us foreign oil. Let's place some supertanker toll booths at our ports to recover all taxpayer costs related to US foreign energy consumption. Then we can watch the windmills, solar collectors, insulation, LEDs, and fuel efficient vehicles start flying out of the stores. I think we have way too many lawyers running things in DC. Lawyers know how to write complicated sounding rules and regulations, but they obviously know very little about math and accounting. Simple changes to the ways we target tax revenue collection and distribution could solve many of our problems without any net increase in combined taxpayer/consumer cost.

"Lawyers know how to write complicated sounding rules and regulations, but they obviously know very little about math and accounting. " Obamacare one sentence. Perfect.

Exactly. Republican lawyer types couldn't resort to something simple sounding like the Public Option, so they took a year to dream up hundreds of ridiculous complicated amendments, making the bill over 2000 pages long. If I could be King of the US for one day I would fire all of the lawyers in Congress and replace them with accountants, mathemeticians, and scientists.

Whoa!!! "Republican lawyer types....took a year to dream up hundreds of ridiculous complicated amendments, making the bill over 2000 pages long." Please!! Has a bigger lie been told by anyone , ever? Please do us all a favor...1. identify the "Republican lawyer types" and..2. Show us the specific amendments they made. 3.GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.

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