- - Tuesday, November 28, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Did anyone else notice that President Trump recently opened up 76 million acres to offshore drilling (“Trump administration to offer 76M acres for offshore drilling, largest lease sale in U.S. history,” Web, Oct. 24)?

Before the liberals, renewable-energy advocates, panic-stricken environmentalists and other strange creatures start hyperventilating extra carbon dioxide, they should know that in 2008, Louisiana’s 3,200 oil platforms produced 25 percent of America’s domestic oil and 30 percent of the take from America’s commercial fisheries. Only Alaska produced more.

How is the latter possible? Well, just consider what’s under these platforms: seafood. With 7.5 billion people to feed, we need all the food sources we can develop. Those platforms have become artificial reefs, producing an explosion of marine life 50 times more abundant than the surrounding Gulf bottoms. Florida’s waters are almost sterile by comparison. Is it any coincidence that Florida zealously prohibits offshore drilling?

Cheap energy from those platforms makes it possible for the seafood under them to be processed and transported to consumers at affordable prices.

So let the oil flow. Cheap energy has kept 7.5 billion people from starving. If we stop using coal, oil and natural gas, most of us will starve to death in the dark. Fossil fuels now supply 86 percent of the world’s energy.



DALE P. FERGUSON

Polson, Mont.

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