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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Demand Drives Oil, Gas Drilling in West

August 27, 2004

Re "White House Puts the West on Fast Track for Oil, Gas Drilling," Aug. 25: If we are so appalled and aghast about oil development, then we as citizens need to stop promoting it. We need to stop taking hot showers, stop buying plastics, stop flying on aircraft, stop driving and stop boating, to name a few things.

We ourselves are to blame for development, not the government. We are the ones demanding development by our consumption. Californians are the biggest consumers of energy, thus development occurs in Colorado and Utah to supply your needs. Take away the demand and there will be no development.

Angela Wadman

Pleasant View, Utah

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Your article notes that environmentalists and economists oppose the slight degradation of parts of the American environment. But the corollary is not mentioned: If the U.S. environment is not slightly degraded because of increased oil and gas recovery, then the environment of other countries must be degraded.

That is globalization at its worst: Save remote areas of the U.S. but let the stunning deserts of the Middle East, the azure coastal waters of Africa and the beautiful areas of Siberia be wrecked in order to produce needed oil and gas.

Thomas F. Hirsch

Henderson, Nev.

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When one considers the map showing the West's oil and gas reserves, it is absolutely heartbreaking to consider what is bound to be lost in order to maintain our right to drive a 10-mile-per-gallon vehicle as opposed to a 25-mpg one (which is not in the least an extreme demand on automakers) or to keep our air conditioners set at 72 degrees (when 78 degrees really isn't that bad).

But why be so negative? Now when we take our gas-guzzling SUVs on a camping trip in the great outdoors we can pull right up to the pump.

Donald C. Litton

Chatsworth

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