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Reality and energy

June 26, 2008

Re "McCain takes a gamble with offshore drilling plan," June 24

In focusing on local opposition to offshore drilling, The Times misses the important point that there are many good reasons not to pursue this folly.

The Energy Information Administration has admitted that even if all offshore sites presently under moratorium were opened today, there would be no production of any oil found until at least 2017; that the amount of oil that might result by 2030 would be only 7% more than currently produced from the outer continental shelf; and that it would have no significant impact on the price of oil.

Moreover, that 7% number is pure guesswork. If successful, Barack Obama's push to close the speculator loophole could show that the real problem is that we are running out of cheap oil.

Politics is not an effective weapon against geologic reality.

Howard Wilshire

Sebastopol, Calif.

Since the biggest supporters of lifting the ban on offshore drilling are in the Midwest, I propose easing the standards to which levees are built as a balance.

Christopher Glass


Re "Courting a creative spark," June 24

John McCain's promise to reward the inventor of a next-generation electric car battery with $300 million of taxpayer money has frightening implications.

It's bad enough that McCain apparently thinks potential royalties from such a patent, which would make the inventor richer than Croesus, don't already constitute enough of an incentive.

But if McCain really holds that preposterous opinion, he also must believe that any inventor who might come up with such a breakthrough before November would be crazy to reveal it now and blow his chance at getting the bonus.

In other words, McCain just told every inventor in America to wait five months before doing something that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil, cut pollution and keep our economy from imploding any further. Thanks for nothing.

James Dawson

Woodland Hills

McCain's recent proposal of a cash prize for the development of a super battery has a lot of merit. There is a long, proud history of our best and brightest rising to the challenge -- the Manhattan Project, NASA, the Skunk Works and others have all demonstrated that a small group led with vision and passion can accomplish great things.

Surely if we can send a man to the moon, we can send Mom to the corner store.

Christopher Korody

Playa del Rey

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