Energy Policy in the Presidential Campaign

Re "Energy Myth-Making," editorial, Oct. 18: I am glad to see that someone besides myself sees the wisdom in using up foreign oil before finishing off our own. It seems obvious that becoming the first oil-producing country to run out of oil is a foolish proposition. As long as we have undeveloped oil reserves of our own, we have a bargaining chip for buying foreign oil. Let the others run out first. Reducing our enormous -- primarily vehicular -- consumption will go further toward reducing our dependency on foreign oil than would developing all our domestic reserves.

Chuck Almdale

Santa Monica

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The Times has outdone John Kerry in flip-flopping on the subject of the energy policies of the two presidential candidates. The editor concludes that Sen. Kerry's plan to invest $10 billion to create cleaner coal-fueled power is "futile and harmless." But just two paragraphs before, the editorial states, "No matter how much coal is scrubbed, it will always remain a major polluter." Now which is it: major polluter or harmless? It can't be both!

Hank Jeffries

San Pedro

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Your editorial on the futile energy policies of our presidential candidates highlights foreign oil dependence on the part of our nation, at the same time our regional population is spreading further afield and committing to longer daily commutes. It should be part of our regional security plans to develop alternatives to oil as a transportation fuel, and one answer is transit.

The popular, successful and energy-efficient Metrolink network should be upgraded with regular service to a daylong regional rail system, expanded to areas such as the South Bay and LAX, and electrified. Our electricity is generated from a range of domestic energy sources, including nuclear, coal, natural gas and renewables. The regional rail system would connect via the natural and historic hub of Union Station to our fast-growing network of subway and light-rail lines. Passengers from, say, San Bernardino or Orange County would enjoy connecting service not only to East L.A., Pasadena, USC and Hollywood but to regional rail stops such as Glendale, Burbank, Northridge and the Antelope Valley.

Andrew Shaddock

Manhattan Beach

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