Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2000

Is an impending recession upon us?

Letter to the Editor:

September 21, 2000

I was amazed a few days ago that President Clinton warned of an impending recession caused by the high cost of crude oil. How could this happen? Only a few short years ago, the cost of a barrel of crude was around $10, while the price at the pump we were paying for a gallon of gas was less than $1. After doing some investigating, I found the main reason for our country being in this position.

In 1992, the United States purchased about 40 percent of our crude oil from other countries. Per the most recent government report, we now purchase 61 percent of our crude oil from other countries.

Why has this changed? The most prominent reason seems to be the moratorium the Clinton administration has put on finding, developing and pumping new sources of oil within our own country and offshore. This is an example of environmentalism gone awry. There are many bizarre reasons and examples that are given for not drilling, but the one in Alaska might be the most far-fetched of all.

By all accounts, the Alaska National reserve site alone has enough oil that the U.S. could be totally self-sufficient for our oil needs for the next 30 years based on our current usage. That is just one field of many that we know about and that we cannot drill on because of environmental concerns. And what is the reason we're told why we can't drill on the Alaska site?

It's because the large pipelines that would be needed to transport the oil might stop or hinder the migration of caribou. This reason completely ignores the fact that with this pipeline, as with the Alaska oil fields that were developed in the 70s, that the pipeline itself is suspended above the ground over 12 feet in the air.

I know when I go to fill up my gas tank and the price per gallon is over $1.60 per gallon and going up, I feel good inside knowing that the Alaskan caribou are not hindered in their migration in any way by having to walk under a pipeline. This is crazy environmentalism taken to the extreme.

I, like most all people, like clean air, clean water and taking care of our environment. But our countries' oil needs and environmentalism can co-exist if common sense is used.

Why are low or stable gas prices important? Almost all our consumer items we purchase are affected by high petroleum costs. If transportation costs increase 50 or 100 percent, or higher, how do you think that will affect the costs of our food, clothing and household goods we purchase?

That is why President Clinton's warning of a recession if oil prices continue to increase is very real. We have only a short time left to make our decision on the next President. Do we really want to continue on the same course with the same people that have steered our country into this oil crisis?

Keith Turnbaugh, Eudora

Commenting has been disabled for this item.