To the Editor:
An article you published on April 17th, 2002, told how the two oil giants, Shell Oil Co. and Lyondell Chemical Co., were aware of the hazards of the chemical MTBE (a defective product) yet continued to keep it on the market. This highlights the problems with California's current energy strategy. We can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels from the Middle East and other areas, create jobs, and secure our energy future by using our technological know-how to develop newer, cleaner sources of energy.
Currently only 10 percent of California's energy comes from clean, renewable resources although the potential for wind, solar, and geothermal power is many times greater than that. California decision-makers should commit to doubling our use of renewables to 20 percent of all power generation by 2010. Studies have shown that such a move would boost the state's economy by the addition of 18,000 new jobs and over $7.8 billion in taxes, according to a recent report done by the California Energy Commission and the Electric Power Research Institute. Not only that but a 20 percent by 2010 standard would most likely save consumers millions of dollars on their power bills by steering us away from natural gas price spikes.
Now that decision-makers can think about our energy future outside of crisis mode, it's time for an energy policy that builds our economy and cleans up our air simultaneously. Let's promote clean, renewable energy.
- Lauren Perlman