'Let's Avoid More Energy Hysteria'

Curtiss effectively argued a point of view I have held for some time now: We should import as much foreign oil as we can for as long as anybody will sell it to us, conserving our own oil for use in the future when foreign supplies may be unavailable or exorbitantly priced.

Although anyone with either more common sense or less backing from the oil industry would conclude that the exact opposite is true, Interior Secretary Hodel and his ideological soul mates apparently hew to the absurd belief that the United States won't be completely secure until every last domestic petroleum source has been sucked dry. This flies in the face of all reason, particularly now that the world oil market suffers from a massive glut.

We can help ourselves and others (for example countries such as Mexico and Argentina, whose anemic economies cry out for oil export revenues) by shutting down domestic wells whenever we can, and taking up the slack in increased imports. Most importantly, there is clearly no need for environmentally questionable plans, such as Hodel's most recent one to open up coastal tracts to massive exploration and drilling, to ever get past the drawing board stage.

Our untapped oil reserves are like money in the bank; I see no reason to squander them during these flush times. We ought to keep our oil in the ground until a day comes when we can't get it anywhere else.


La Jolla

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