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Opinion: The Trump administration’s push to expand oil drilling is economically foolish

Offshore oil drilling platforms along the California coastline are seen from Huntington Beach.
Offshore oil drilling platforms along the California coastline are seen from Huntington Beach.
( Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says President Trump’s offshore drilling plan would be “a new path for energy dominance” and that “we are going to become the strongest energy superpower.” (“Trump has big plans for offshore oil development. But will it ever happen?” Jan. 5)

This is nostalgic, ignorant foolishness. This is like saying let’s ramp up our horse and buggy technology and plant more hay at the time when Henry Ford was beginning to roll cars off his assembly line.

Fossil fuels will not dominate the energy economy of the future. The fossil fuel industry will go bankrupt, dragged down by stranded assets. Fossil fuels will fall far behind clean, inexpensive, democratizing renewable energy.

Joe McLaughlin, Los Angeles

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To the editor: With oil leases on federally managed land going for $2-$14 per acre in parts of the American west and Alaska, it is worthwhile to lock up this carbon store. It will be far cheaper and feasible compared to any carbon capture method envisioned to date. (“Trump plan to expand oil and gas leasing in West draws, for the most part, a big yawn from industry,” Jan. 7)

Also, uranium mining in the Colorado River basin is fraught with peril to the major water source in the Southwest. Would it be possible for taxpayers, the current owners of the oil/mineral rights, to purchase via a publicly traded corporation the oil and mineral rights for the benefit of our future generations?

Hugh McTernan, Ventura

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