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Letter: Oil Spill in the Gulf

The ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is probably going to be the biggest environmental catastrophe in history. The environmental damage will be incalculable and will probably last for decades. There seems to be little outrage and/or effective processes for ending this event. The last hope, I assume, is for the relief wells to work, sometime in August.

All of this being said, I’d like to point out that for energy needs, per se, the country could go “solar.” I am told that a solar grid, constructed out west, in an approximate 70-mile square area, could generate the total electrical output needed for the entire country; at least during daylight hours. Or, in the alternative, a series or smaller grids located around the country could do the same. This clean, non-polluting, environmentally accident proof solution, could replace and/or supplement coal, oil, and gas fueled electric power plants in the country. Isn’t it time we did this, especially in light of the gulf catastrophe? I know that additional hardware, etc. would be needed to connect with the existing grid, etc., but that could drive the need for employment, not a bad matter in these economic times. It may even drive new technology for energy storage so that eventually we wouldn’t even need fossil burning power plants. Why don’t our leaders promote this idea? Or, are they beholden to big oil, and do not wish to do what ultimately would be best for our country. Just think of the benefits of less pollution and less dependence on fossil fuels. And the cost; if we figure in the environmental costs of the present ongoing oil spill plus the cost of product, (for solar the produce is free), which do you think would ultimately cost more?

Paul Drezner