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Pressure's on to increase energy development

October 06, 2005

Re "Plan for Coastal Drilling Emerges," Oct. 3

Fair-minded Californians should support the congressional movement to open Pacific waters to regulated oil drilling. For too long we have proclaimed our elitist opposition to such efforts and have felt no shame in letting the burden fall on the rest of the U.S. community. The cooler waters of the northern Pacific provide more protection to the drilling crews than do the hurricane-prone Atlantic and Gulf zones. Let us do our share in equalizing the burden.

JOHN NOVAK

Carlsbad

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The American Gas Assn. and more than 100 other petrochemical companies say, "The nation is paying the price for concentrating so much of its energy infrastructure" along the Gulf Coast. Lawmakers are therefore "trying to relax a federal ban on drilling off California and the Atlantic Seaboard and encouraging energy prospecting in the Rocky Mountains."

No, the nation is paying the price for decades of fossilized thinking on energy policy, rather than encouraging less reliance on petrochemicals and more development of renewable and sustainable energy sources. This profound lack of leadership has accelerated during the Bush era, with oil and gas interests now using the recent Gulf storms as an excuse to invade pristine environmental areas. Unwilling to see -- in the first place -- how fossil fuel pollution contributes to aggravation of severe weather changes, the misleaders are reaping the whirlwind and blowing it over on us.

JANE W. PRETTYMAN

Santa Barbara

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