Letters to the Editor
March 16, 2022

To the Editor:
Theater and Drilling
Martin: While my views and literary style are not news to you, I can understand that occasionally they may irritate reactionary sensibilities. Politics has always been in great part “theater” (think Kennedy/Nixon debates or Ted Cruz delivering“Green Eggs and Ham” on the Senate floor). If you observe political Party leaders (on both sides) you know that. These are the very people who will formulate American policy. What they say and do now is very much an indication of how they will govern if given the chance.
You are a serious man, but it’s hard to believe that you think it trivial to reveal a former president and potential future Commander-in-Chief joking about inciting a war between two nuclear powers, then sitting back and watching the result. Or find nothing significant in a prominent Republican politician consorting with groups known to invoke Hitler and Putin and support racism as the dominant conservative ideology. Or that Republican leaders are afraid to condemn these undemocratic extremists.Avert your eyes at our peril.
I do not concoct facts or “alleged comments.”Google them. The incidents I report generally do not appear on conservative media. They contradict the image that many Republicans(want to) have of their Party, or they may disturb the reverie of Tucky’s white nationalist views, conspiracy theories, and dictator envy. ButDorothy Collins taught her 12 kids to share, and so...
The Russian war is a worthy subject and easier to confront. The racism inherent in white nationalism can involve friends and neighbors. You will write what you wish, but I am afraid that you will be stuck with that ink bill after all.
You asked why President Biden “closed down the nation's energy industry,”presumably when he fulfilled a campaign promise and stopped the Canada-to-Gulf XL Pipeline project (and federal oil subsidies). Theindustry was not “closed down.”Thedenial of pipeline construction permits does not stop oil and gas drilling or delivery. It precludesproduct conveyance by way of a very environmentally-risky delivery system. The tar sands oil will just have to find its way to market as it always has.
Oil production in the Trump and Biden Administrations has remained generally constant. The post-pandemic demand is greater as people are out-and-about, the Russian war and sanctions against buying their oil have some effect, but the petroleum companies are not drilling more oil. Instead, they are opting to prioritize stock buybacks and score record high profits rather than using the approximately 9,000 oil and gas drilling permits already available but unused.
"Oil and gas companies do not want to drill more," (emphasis mine) said Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov. "They are under pressure from the financial community to pay more dividends, to do more share buybacks instead of the proverbial 'drill baby drill,' which is the way they would have done things 10 years ago. Corporate strategy has fundamentally changed."
President Biden has released significant oil reserves andis under pressure to invoke Cold War-era powers to force more domestic oil production as the war in Ukraine strains supplies and further fuels inflation. It is a dilemma of the “open market”against governmental interference with private enterprise for national need. Capitalism against temporary “socialism,” if you will.
The industry knows what the future requires. They are already investing in a petroleum-free world. BP (British Petroleum) has rebranded itself “Beyond Petroleum” andis looking toward renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar.But the GOP wants to “party on” as if the future is distant and the horrific environmental impacts of fossil fuel do not exist. And blamePresident Biden.
This is the time to bite the bullet and go green energywith the new jobs that will generate. To miss this opportunity is to deny the future, andextend the economic prison of the fossil fuels industry and theproduct-source of our impending climate crises.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
At the beginning of each week I give thought about what to write in my Letter to the Editor. I see so many issues to address - Ukraine, inflation, pandemic/endemic, the supply chain? Seems they are connected in so many ways, which I find troubling in itself.
For instance, back in early 2021, Russia started setting up its military along the Ukrainian border. In response Biden was set to give a $100 million military aid to Ukraine then it was halted. As Russia moved in more troops, Biden began his talk of “strong economic and other measures” if they should attack. Republicans were asking Biden to provide military aid to Ukraine in November 2021, but it wasn’t until mid January 2022 that Biden provided any aid.
On February 22, Russia launched his “demilitarisation and denazification” of Ukraine. On March 14, Russia joined forces with China. Now Biden’s threatening China with the same lines about “strong economic and other measures” if they respond to Russia’s request for military and economic relief.
When the USA placed sanctions on Russian imports, it became clear gas sanctions were negligible compared to the impact we’ll see in the current inflation situation as it relates to the iron, steel, fertilizer, nickel and copper, and grain Russia provides. Our current inflation rate as of February is 7.87%. In February the average American was paying $250 more a month to deal with the price increases we see daily; today they say it’s now $375.
Today, Biden’s sitting with Russia to broker a new nuclear deal with Iran, one of America’s biggest threats. He’s begging Venezuela, another arch enemy, to sell us their fossil fuels. Pete Buttigieg, our Secretary of Transportation, says we need to look to solar, wind, nuclear or hydroelectric means for our energy and move to zero fossil fuels. Keep in mind 65% of the energy used in the USA is a form of fossil fuel. I’m sure it will take much longer to get become fossil fuel free then the time it takes to return to our being energy self-sufficient today.
Ukraine is in the 20th day of fighting to maintain its sovereignty after the unprovoked attack by Russia. Since then Iran sent 12 missiles near the U.S. consulate in Irbil, Iraq. North Korea has shot more ballistics missiles off it’s coast in the last month. A Russian missile strike near Poland was launched from within the USSR’s own borders. COVID is raging out of control in many areas of China, causing a reduction in their ability to respond to our “supply chain crisis”.
Concerns about Russia having nuclear weapons has Western Europe worried. And rightfully so. Since most of Europe depends on Russian fossil fuel, they were unwilling to take the same actions as we have. If Russia wins this war, the dynamics in Europe and around the entire world will dramatically change.
It is possible for the USA to be self-sufficient in most of it needs and if necessary we could live without the rest. I don’t care if you call it “Made in America” or “Make America Great Again”, but it’s my opinion a true leader will see that it may be time to shift the agenda from globalization to self-sufficiency and “... preserve, protect and defend“ America.
Patti Walker,