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Energy vital to US security

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The cap-and-trade energy bill is the next congressional battleground. I believe it’s being sold in the wrong way, to reduce man-made C02 emissions, in an effort to stall global warming. Regardless of your view of what’s causing global warming, a better case for the bill is to be made for energy independence and national security. Properly implemented, this could help wean us off our ever-growing dependence on petro dictators. With the enormous amount of money that flows from the U.S. to OPEC, it’s a certainty that some of it trickles down into hands of anti-U.S. radicals, so in a convoluted way, we wind up funding terrorists. Consider this: in 1980 the U.S. imported 37 percent of our oil; in 2008, we imported 57 percent (source: U.S. Energy Information Administration). The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that we’ll import 70 percent by 2025. Drilling for more oil is not the long-term answer, as it’s a limited resource. Enacting incentives for alternative, clean energy and for energy conservation should become a priority for national security. As an added benefit, clean energy provides the opportunity for U.S. innovation to take the lead in this new industry, whether it be solar electricity, wind, hydrogen catalysts, oil-producing bacteria, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion or tidal energy. As it is, China is already eclipsing our efforts in solar electric production. Energy independence provides national security and a growth industry; the cap-and-trade bill provides the incentives. It should be called the Energy Independence Bill. Ron PAITICH, Auburn