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Community Forum: Real solutions needed for oil, water, wars
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TV personality Lou Dobbs says it best: "Don't we deserve a government that works?"

We do, but we will not have one as long as we elect people who continue to favor a short-term fix instead of a long-range solution. Our oil policy, water policy and foreign policy have failed because when the problem surfaces, we apply a cheap Band-Aid to absorb the bleeding rather than a surgery to prevent future problems.

Supply and demand is an absolute correct principle which is easy to apply to the oil and water disasters. The correct way to fix gas prices is to supply more oil by drilling for more crude oil and increasing the number of refineries to produce gas.

Instead of giving taxpayers a tax rebate, we should have used the $120 billion to produce the largest oil drilling program in the history of the world. We could have used low-interest loans to be repaid by the oil companies, or charge them a fee to lease offshore and Alaska sites for drilling and producing more oil.

Not many know that only a small part of Alaska, comparable to the one half the size of Lake Lanier, could be used to produce oil. There are 2.3 trillion barrels of untapped oil reserves in the U.S., enough to replace all foreign oil imports for 22 years. Quit talking and drill, drill, drill.

As for the water, bills have been passed, but you have not and will not see photos of groundbreaking for reservoir construction. Instead, politicians now only decide how to split the meager supply we have. Quit talking and build, build, build.

As for our foreign policy, we have spread our troops too thin. We must choose to win in Afghanistan or Iraq, one or the other, or we will lose both. Unfortunately, while we are treading water in both those countries, Iran is enjoying being left alone and observing the toll both wars are having on our resources and the people's support for the wars.

It's supply and demand again; too many demands and too few troops. Quit talking and chose the proper battleground where we can win. Choose, don't lose.

Troy R. Millikan

Left blocks progress of energy to meet needs
If you like high gasoline prices, you're going to love high electric rates. Georgia rates, currently amount the lowest in the country, will be driven up by the same kinds of policies that have already helped drive up gas prices, policies that make it more difficult to increase the supply.

On June 30, a Georgia judge blocked the start of building a new plant to generate electricity, what would be the first electric utility built in Georgia in two decades.

Joan King and the rest of the global warming crowd must be celebrating. The news story ran the same day as Ms. King's latest rant against increased drilling for oil and the building of nuclear power plants to generate electricity. She seems not to care about the pain people will suffer if we don't substantially increase our own oil production. If she thinks solar and wind power can provide a substantial amount of electricity within the next five years, she is simply out of touch with the real world. It will not happen.

In other words, we have a long-term energy problem and an immediate crisis. The crisis cannot be addressed by alternative energy. For decades, the left has backed policies that have hampered refining and increased drilling and it now wants to keep us from addressing these problems. It will take too long to make a difference. Every time we fill our tanks, we need to remember who is keeping us from drilling.

Those who claim there are plenty of areas for oil companies to drill are the usual people who do not consider the basic realities of a business, price and cost. If the cost of developing and drilling a given supply means gasoline would have to be sold for, let's say $10 a gallon, then it would be foolish to drill there any time soon.

We know where the oil companies can develop and drill at an affordable cost. It is time we let them.
One driver in increased gas prices is the lack of refining capacity. Here in America, not one new refinery has been built in the past 30 years. Now, as we see with the judge's decision, we are continuing to pursue policies that will drive up the cost of electricity as well.

Ms. King and her crowd, of course, hope the high prices for gasoline will be a catalyst for a more expedient adoption of alternative energy. This is not a realistic or effective solution to Georgia's immediate needs. She should also consider sharing with readers how her exclusively solar/wind-powered home and non-oil based mode of transportation has been working out for her.

James R. Pilgrim

Why can't someone solve gas price crisis?
It has gotten really out of control with these gas prices! Each gas station needs to hire a price jockey just to stand at the price signs so he can change those prices every 30 minutes. Oh, but wait; sometimes they wait at least 45 minutes before that price is raised.

Is there no one who is aware the solution to our fuel problems is right under our feet? No one is smart enough to figure that out yet.

America's economy is so pathetic because we're allowing it. We spend so much money on other countries we are supposedly having war with, there's not enough left for us, the Americans who are trying to live here. Are we no longer a country with intelligence? Apparently not. If so, it's certainly not evident.

I was home the whole weekend and didn't even start either of my vehicles; that's my little contribution against these ridiculously greedy fuel prices. One person can't change what millions of Americans should be working together to change. Bringing in strays from other countries is not helping the situation, either, but that's another story.

Why aren't we working together to change the situation of the fuel price problem? Is there no one out there who cares enough to protest, or are you all just lying down and taking whatever is thrown at you? If I offended anyone, well, that's your problem!

Carol Singleton

Risk of nuclear power small; payoff is huge
Joan King, I agree more research on alternative energy would be wise. Meanwhile, solar and wind have proven to be expensive and far from effective enough to even dent our needs. Coal-fired electric plants in Georgia account for most of the smog in Atlanta.

Think about how many people are sickened and even killed by the massive amounts of pollution from these plants nationwide. How many people have died in the U.S. in nuclear plant accidents? None. How much air pollution does a nuclear plant put out? Just about none. How much of France's energy is supplied by nuclear plants? Seventy percent. How safe are nuclear plants now? Almost no way for a serious accident to happen. The technology now is not the technology of 30 years ago.

You can't just say nuclear energy has some small risk and offer us no alternative to coal. And all the wind farms you can build would not do it. Why not a big effort to develop fission power? It would not have the down side of radioactive waste. Granted it is a big hill to climb, but think of the payoff.

Dave Long