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Energy Efficiency, Not 'Draining America,' Is Answer to Oil Woes

May 26, 1995



Energy Efficiency, Not 'Draining America,' Is Answer to Oil Woes

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In the opinion-page article ''Avoid Long Lines for Gas, Tap Alaska's Oil Reserves,'' May 18, Sen. Frank Murkowski (R) of Alaska, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is misleading when he says that environmentalists ''rejoice in the choke hold'' that restrictions on oil and natural gas production have, leading to more imports.

The solution is not to tap Alaska's oil reserves; rather, it is to go into fast forward with pragmatic policies that promote energy efficiency. His ''drain America first'' productionist proposals will undermine not only our natural resource heritage but also our vital energy security.

John G. Merriam Bowling Green, Ohio

Kudos from a 'Kiwi abroad'

As a ''Kiwi abroad,'' the sentiments that were expressed in the editorial ''Sailing With New Zeal,'' May 16, are appreciated.

The qualities of good sportsmanship, technological innovation, hard work, enthusiasm, and Yankee, or to a New Zealander, Kiwi, ingenuity, really know no national boundaries.

That they were demonstrated with such grace, humility, and good-natured humor by the crew of Black Magic and their support team of more than 3 million speaks volumes for a society that honors, and respects, not only individual initiative, but cooperative team and community participation that plays fair and to the rules.

What a blessing for all competitive sports should this victory go some way to putting an end to the ''win-at-all-costs rule-bending that distracts from the pure sport.''

Richard Sellens Eugene, Ore.

On board to reexamine race relations

The truth is slowly being unveiled about the progress of America's racial relations. The author of the opinion-page article ''A Snapshot of Racial Prejudice,'' May 22, has explored the frightening concept that racism in America has not improved, and has been masked behind false pretenses. It is sad to think that after all the years of suffering and protest, our country lives in an age where oppression of minorities is still prevalent.

It is obviously idealistic to expect complete change in the hearts of those who hate, but there is always compromise. I strongly urge everyone to reevaluate themselves, their morals, and their ''efforts to judge and respond to all individually,'' as the author has. The world will be a better place once we are aware and can deal with one another's differences.

Ebony N. Howard Windsor, Conn.

A swamp's-eye view of farm subsidies

The front-page story ''GOP Draws Line in the Soil on Farm Subsidy Program,'' May 16, painted a one-sided picture of the effects of such programs. For balance, another story should show the many distortions in the marketplace due to such subsidies.

One example, among many, is the effect subsidies have on the use of sugar.

To plant more cane, sugar growers are draining swamp land and wiping out the habitat of many species in the Everglades. Major users escape the artificially high prices caused by subsidies by using sugar substitutes.

Without the subsidies, the world price of sugar would drop. Such an incentive could cause growers to switch to some other crop and could even prove environmentally advantageous by preserving a diminishing resource, America's wetlands.

In this sophisticated age when computers are tools as important as tractors and major universities offer agriculture programs, subsidies seem archaic.

Gene Chapman Beaverton, Ore.