Free market should dictate energy policyRep. Tom McMillen...

the Forum

April 10, 1991

Free market should dictate energy policy

Rep. Tom McMillen recently stated, "This nation needs a comprehensive energy policy." If the history of Democratic energy policies is any indication, the results will not be too pleasing for consumers or taxpayers.

Jimmy Carter, the last Democratic president, imposed draconian regulations on the energy industry, wasted billions of dollars on "alternative fuel" research (while halting the nuclear power industry) and berated citizens who set their thermostats too high.

Carter's energy policy was one of centralized government's control over the consumer.

I think we should develop alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect the environment.

However, the free enterprise system can and will pursue them without spending a penny of taxpayers' money.

When Ronald Reagan became president he revoked Carter's regulations and quit squandering our money. Though many predicted Reagan's energy policy would lead to ruin, the price of gas is lower now than it was 10 years ago, even with inflation.

Reagan showed the best energy policy is one which allows the marketplace to regulate itself.

The U.S. has enough oil for the foreseeable future. If the oil does start to run out, entrepreneurs will step in with economically viable alternative fuels. All the government has to do is stay out of the way. When McMillen says President Bush's energy proposals are "sadly lacking the necessary incentive for conservation and the use of alternative fuel sources," I shudder. His rhetoric sounds like a repeat of Carter's failed policies.

Timothy J. Bernadzikowski

Severna Park

The war's purpose

Richard Ochs' letter (Forum, Apr. 3) is based on the premise that the Persian Gulf war was fought for the sake of oil alone. He speaks of the environment as being the major loser.

He refuses to recognize the far more humanitarian aspects of that war. He should give much broader thought to why this war was fought. If this war hadn't been fought and won, someone as power hungry and crazy as Saddam Hussein would have used Kuwait as a mere stepping stone to bigger and better things. Today the Arab lands! Tomorrow the world!

After Saddam "Insane's" demonstration of his concern for the atmosphere by his fiendish firing of the Kuwaiti oil fields, how can anyone say the war was better left unfought, even for the sake of the atmosphere alone?

Blanche K. Coda

Baltimore

Aftermath: shame

Just as we have every reason to be proud of the young people who served in the Persian Gulf War, shame on the politicians who sent them to kill and die for oil profits.

Nothing is positive about war. Over 100,000 Iraqi lives were lost as well as American lives. Saddam is alive and well and still committing genocide on his own people. Our ecosystem and environment have suffered severe damage. The Middle East is in worse chaos than ever.

One in five children grows up in poverty in this country; drugs, crime, AIDS and hatred are worsening - yet our government has no real agenda other than to make war.

How dare Bush and our government bring war into our lives when other options remained to "liberate" Kuwait, a country run by a medieval emir that does not even pretend to be a democracy?

Gerald Ben Shargel

Reisterstown

No excuse

In reference to the the stories about Sugar Ray Leonard, I am so tired of reading about famous stars and rich people telling about the way they got started or how they are getting off drugs. There is no excuse.

What is it with famous people and drugs? These articles only make parents scared for their children to become famous. News should be about cures for diseases, how to survive this depression, etc. Some things are better not told.

Betty Harcum

Baltimore

Call-up pay

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, looking at all those shining voting faces, has introduced legislation that would pay the federal workers called to duty in the gulf the difference between their military pay and their federal payroll.

That's all well and good, if the entire public sector and individual states and local governments did the same. In fact, that is not the case. Possibly some of the more affluent blue-chip companies can afford this generosity, but the basic truth is that many of the smaller companies which lost people for the war also lost business and in some cases went out of business due to the sagging economy.

Where, when the unemployment rate is so high and the demand for public assistance out-distances the assistance available, does the good senator envision this money to reward our troops

coming from?

Tom Weathers

VTC Edgewood

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