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Moderately Higher Oil Prices Would Spur Domestic Industry, Ease Need for Imports

August 26, 1990

Philip Verleger's viewpoint that the "U.S. Could Do a Lot More to Cope With Oil Crises" (Aug. 12) presents a rational analysis of the problems. In closing, he advocates that higher energy prices, though not popular, should be part of the solution.

However, he should have included a fourth point. Our increased use of foreign oil is the result of five years of depressed crude oil prices making many of our domestic oil fields uneconomic. The greatest potential for reducing our dependence on imported oil (and hence future economic stability) is by allowing moderately higher oil prices to revitalize the U.S. Oil Patch. This won't result in proportionately higher gasoline prices since it will restore the balance of profit between petroleum production, refining and marketing while reducing the trade deficit.

CHRIS HALL

Torrance

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