Energy bill takes us in the wrong direction

March 12, 2010

It is encouraging that President Obama and key senators are negotiating over comprehensive climate and energy legislation ("Obama meets with key senators," March 9). However, several provisions of the legislation they propose are quite problematic.

While the end-goal of their legislation is to cut emissions 17 percent by 2020, the senators' emphasis seems to lie in proposals for more nuclear power plants and expanding offshore drilling. This is the wrong direction for our nation's energy future. Generating more power through nuclear energy is far too expensive and risky, not to mention the fact that it is not a solution for the near future; in the best of circumstances, no new reactors could be completed until 2016 at the earliest.

Furthermore, drilling offshore for oil will not help us cut our dependence on greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels, and it presents a threat to our nation's precious ocean ecosystems.

The Senate must pass legislation that takes advantage of the great potential of wind, solar, and geothermal power, as well as energy efficiency, and jumpstarts a clean energy economy that will create jobs, meet America's energy needs, and cut down on our greenhouse gas emissions in the smartest, most cost-effective ways possible.

Shea Kinser, Baltimore

The writer is a clean energy associate with Environment Maryland.

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