Proposed Energy Legislation Is Timely - but Will Alternative Sources Survive?

According to the Reuters article "New Energy Policy on the Horizon," March 17, Congress has finally decided to pass energy legislation by the end of this year. Although this will be no panacea for our energy-related problems, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, while Congress deliberates over a new energy policy to ease dependency on foreign oil and reduce environmental degradation, companies already addressing those areas are filing for bankruptcy. According to the Opinion page article "Unbind Solar Energy From Washington's Red Tape," March 12, LUZ International Ltd., a solar-power corporation, just can't compete as an alternative supplier of energy. Nuclear-power companies receive massive federal subsidies and the oil and gas industries enjoy t remendous tax benefits, while alternative-energy suppliers find themselves choked by red tape.

If, as the Reuters article states, Congress really wants to take "dramatic steps to boost its energy security," it is about time they refocus their efforts. The most complete energy policy in history won't do a bit of good until the United States begins to support companies that have a positive effect on our environment.

A new energy policy is desperately needed, but so are government incentives and support for those men and women who already hold the key to safe, efficient, and economical energy alternatives. If this means getting rid of those political leaders whose first loyalties are to the industries, as the author of the Opinion page article suggests, so be it. Eric Martin, S. Hero, Vt.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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