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Natural Resources and Hodel

July 15, 1987

Secretary of Interior Donald Paul Hodel (Letters, July 6) exhibits the duplicity typical of this Administration regarding conservation of the environment and of wildlife. Under him and his predecessors, our natural resources, our national parks and forests have been managed primarily as profit generators. The parks have been opened up and much of their wildlife destroyed for the benefit of commercial establishments.

Billions of tax dollars have purchased access roads through national forests for the benefit of logging interests. Mining and power development interests have been encouraged at the expense of wild rivers and scenic value.

Rivers have been destroyed to provide tax-subsidized water to tax-subsidized agri-business, with the products sold overseas at below-cost, tax-supplemented prices.

Now he and the Administration's backers want immediate profits from our offshore oil and the public's interests be damned. He tries to frighten us into submission with threats of gas lines or of excessive prices for gasoline.

But the international conglomerates which control OPEC, which also control our own domestic oil and, apparently, this Administration, are the ones who really determine whether the price of oil goes up or down. The gas lines of a few years back were the product of oil company policy, not immediate shortages of gasoline.

If we do need that offshore oil badly in the future, it can be gotten at quickly enough. We may have to pay the ecological price, eventually, but we need no do so now. Also, despite Secretary Hodel's gloomy view, he well knows that there are ample alternative energy sources. We do not tap them now because there are still vast profits to be made from fossil oil--and because the oil interests do not yet totally control those alternative sources of energy.

Secretary Hodel fronts for a philosophy which holds that this world and this nation exist for the financial benefit of an elite few. He subscribes to the theory that our natural habitat was put here to produce a profit for those who hold power, that profit is their natural right.

Fortunately, he and the Administration which installed him will soon be phasing out. Hopefully, the one that follows will be more mindful of the needs and desires of the citizens who elect it. Meanwhile, his destructive policies must be resisted to the limit of our abilities.

HENRY M. MILLER

President

Outdoor Sportsmen's League

Van Nuys

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