- The Washington Times - Monday, March 14, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Most of our elected representatives are used to having praise lavished upon them at regular intervals by minions and are considered the smartest people in the room whenever they speak. Perhaps that is why Rep. Paul D. Tonko felt he would go unchallenged in writing that “we cannot simply drill our way out of the energy crisis” (“U.S. must reduce energy appetite,” Letters, Friday).

In fact, the United States has enough energy underground and offshore not only to match but surpass the Middle East where energy is concerned.

Mr. Tonko writes in his letter, “It is nearsighted to claim that President Obama is deliberately blocking access to our nation’s energy resources.” He then writes, “China invests twice what America does in creating clean energy jobs.” So what? China has four times the population of the United States. And I wonder if Mr. Tonko counts among China’s investments in clean energy the wind turbines they sell to this country.

As for Mr. Tonko’s point that Mr. Obama has proposed eliminating taxpayer “giveaways to the ‘big five’ oil companies” which combined had a profit of $75 billion, those oil companies paid about $22 billion in taxes on their profits.

In a vibrant economy, one that is growing at a sustained rate of 4 percent annually, our economy would double every 20 years. That means all things being equal, we will need 25 percent more energy every five years.

Under the Obama administration, gas prices at the pump have gone up 50 percent in the past two years. Alternative energy technology is currently neither profitable nor viable, yet the Obama camp continues to try to ram it down our throats.

Perhaps Mr. Tonko should get on the phone with China and tell it to step up production, because his current contentions aren’t making sense.

DENNIS BAKER

Manassas, Va.

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