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Conservation Is A Moral Issue

The House approved an energy bill backed by the Bush White House that will cost $12 billion, allow drilling in Alaska's pristine ANWR, shield the makers of the gasoline additive MTBE which contaminates drinking water from the liability of community clean-up, and do nothing to promote the conservation of energy.

Scientists have predicted that the earth is either at or very close to "Peak Oil", the point at which the world's demand for oil will exceed the supply.

Automobiles use 70% of this country's oil, yet there has been no call for conservation. Automakers are rolling four-wheel drive gas-guzzling SUVs off the assembly line to sell to people who will never drive on anything but freeways. Next year a $2,500 tax credit for hybrid cars that get 50 mpg will drop off, but the $25,000 tax credit for SUVs getting 11 mpg remains in place.

An attempt to require auto makers to increase fuel economy to an average of 33 mpg over the next ten years and would have saved two million barrels of oil a day by 2020 was defeated 254 - 177. Why would Congress vote against saving 2 million barrels of oil a day? Was it to benefit the automobile corporations who would have to incur costs to meet those standards or the oil corporations who make more profits by selling the additional 2 million barrels a day? It certainly isn't in the best interests of the people.

It isn't a matter of "if I can afford to pay for expensive gas it's nobody's business." It's everybody's business because the planet is running out of oil. Anyone who thinks that if they can afford to fill up a gas guzzler, it just means those who can't will have to walk or ride a bike have no concept of the impact of peak oil on life...and death.

We are dependent on oil for food production and transportation, medical care and the production of pharmaceuticals, every aspect of manufacturing, heating, cooling, sewage, and water purification and pumping. With previously non-industrialized nations such as China increasing manufacturing and increasing incomes, the demand for automobiles and other energy consuming luxuries are in great demand.

As oil becomes more scarce, the price will continue to escalate. Remaining oil from shale and oil sands take as much or more energy to extract as it can produce.

We are a nation of selfish consumers who, as a society, have enjoyed a quality of life unparalleled in other nations. That lifestyle will soon undergo a drastic decline. Our wasteful use of an important non-renewable energy source threatens not only our existence but the existence of people all over the earth. The growth of the world population and the lack of oil in all its aspects of food production from pesticides, fertilizers, farm machinery and shipping will make it impossible to grow enough food throughout the world to sustain those numbers and many will die of starvation.

Our government is well aware of the impending crisis but kept silent and did nothing to educate us to the situation and encourage us to conserve. Reports on peak oil by the leading geologists and earth scientists are presented every year.

The current energy bill is immoral in its irresponsibility and selfishness. Our squandering will cost millions of lives. Moral values involve more than just matters of sex and a culture of life must consider how our actions affect all life inside and outside of our borders.

4-22-05