America's Profligate Use of Energy

After reading the opinion-page article``The Strengths of Bush's Energy Plan,'' April 16, I think I understand how the Bush administration could arrive at such an unbalanced proposal. It is by ignoring matters such as supply and demand, atmospheric warming, and long-term disposal of nuclear waste. The article states: ``The root cause of our energy dependence is not profligate energy use by the American people, but rather failure to make sensible, environmentally responsible use of the vast energy resources we have.''

Is not the American per capita energy use - at approximately twice that of other industrialized countries - profligate? Considering only the contribution of energy to the cost of manufactured goods and our failure to compete as effectively as we should in many segments of the world market for such goods, surely it is.

To propose expansion of production of fossil fuels without addressing the environmental impact, including atmospheric warming, is irresponsible. To propose expansion in the use of nuclear power without addressing the issue of long-term storage of the waste it produces is equally irresponsible.

When will our policymakers accept conservation as an energy resource to be tapped, just like our reservoirs of oil, natural gas, and coal? It has been demonstrated that it is less expensive, and obviously more attractive environmentally, to avoid use of a barrel of oil than to produce and burn it.

In addition, we are considering opening one of the last remaining pristine areas of our planet to exploration for oil.

Profligate energy use is not the problem? Come on!

Maurice W. Wildin, Albuquerque, N.M.

At home with dictionary Gleb Leonidovitch Teryohin's letter ``I Myself at Home With Dictionary,'' April 18, is wonderful.

How many American ``common driver[s] of automobile'' with 10th grade educations could write so expressively in Russian, even with dictionary? Or even in English?

I think you should sponsor his immigration, find him a job in long-distance hauling that would take him all around the US, and have him write a series of letters about his experiences. It would be enlightening to see America through his ingenious eyes and delightful to hear about it in his own words.

Anthony Davenport, Lancaster, Ohio

Thank you for the wonderful ``opinion.'' We will use this in our classes for a long time to come, because the letter and your comments speak to the heart of what students in our institution (and those in schools of all kinds all over America) need to read and contemplate. John McNeill, Springfield, S.D., Springfield Correctional Facility

I am touched by the letter from Mr. Teryohin. As a former instructor of English as a foreign language, I know how strong his desire to communicate must have been to work so hard at the translation! Thank you so much for printing his letter. Susan Adams, Omaha, Neb.

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