The urgent need to wean the economy from fossil fuels [Letter]

August 07, 2014

Your Aug. 4 editorial ("Cap and dividend") does not take into consideration the phenomenon of peak oil. I'm in favor of measures that help regular people — and government — make the transition to an energy future that can actually sustain us without poisoning the atmosphere. And I agree with your assertion that rising energy prices will be a "near certainty," but my reason is different.

Peak oil refers to a peak in production, which might already be happening, and predicts higher energy prices as production falls. This is due to the reduction in well productivity over time, and to the very high cost to drillers of extreme extraction like fracking and tar sands refinement. These processes require drillers to spend more and more money for less and less oil and gas, sometimes of lower quality. In short, I'm in favor of protecting consumers and adding expense to drillers' operations because, as you say, we desperately need to wean our economy off of fossil fuels.

Karie Firoozmand, Timonium

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