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A lot more reasons to worry about oil

July 05, 2008

To the editor:

I would like to add a postscript to the Bill Stryker Jr.'s excellent article - "The oil is there, if we'd only drill" - that appeared Sunday, June 22.

Stryker makes an excellent case for more oil production by the U.S., but there are still many more reasons. There are many more products that are petroleum-based than just gasoline. Also, when is our Congress ever going to become educated to all of these facts that will affect our total economy? Here's a list of many items that we use every day in which petroleum products are used in the manufacturing process.

With the rapidly developing countries of China, India and others, the demand for these products will continue to soar, thus putting more pressure on the demand for oil. Look at this list and see how many of these items you use on an almost daily basis. They are all articles that are used by peoples all over the world:

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Air conditioners, ammonia, anti-histamines, antiseptics, balloons, bandages, boats, bottles, bras, bubble gum, butane, cameras, candles, car batteries, car bodies, carpet, cassette tapes, caulking, CD's, brushes/combs, computers, contacts, cortisone, dishwashing liquid, dryers, electric blankets, electrician's tape, fertilizer, fishing lures, footballs, glues, glycerin, golf balls, guitar strings, hair coloring, hair curlers, hearing aids, heart valves, heating oil, house paint, ice chests, life jackets, medicines, mops, motor oil, motorcycle and sports helmets, movie film, nail polish, oil filters, paddles, paint brushes, paint, panty hose, parachutes, paraffin, pens, petroleum jelly, plastic chairs, plastic cups, plastic utensils, plastic wrap and dozens of other plastic products.

Also, plywood adhesives, refrigerators, roller skate wheels, roofing paper, rubber bands, rubber boots, rubber cement, rubbish bags, running shoes, saccharin, seals, shirts (non-cotton), shoe polish, shoes, shower curtains, solvents, spectacles, stereos, sweaters, table tennis balls, tape recorders, telephones, tennis rackets and tires, umbrellas, upholstery, vaporizers, vitamin capsules, volleyballs, water pipes, water skis and wax paper.

Quite an impressive list, isn't it? Another item not listed above is jet fuel. Even if we are successful in finding alternative fuels to power our vehicles, oil will still be needed for jet fuel and all of these other products. I do not see anything on the horizon that could replace the petroleum-based products from which these items are produced, nor do I see an alternative for the jet engine for powering aircraft.

For the U.S. to become energy independent within the next five to 15 years, we need to first understand the total impact that petroleum-based products have on our nation's and the world's economies.

We can then begin to see that we will need a massive effort to produce more oil within the U.S. and offshore, and simultaneously, build more refineries, construct substantially more nuclear plants, increase coal production, and aggressively pursue development of viable alternative sources of energy such as solar power, wind power and hydrogen-based fuel cells, etc.

The Democrats, and other politicians and environmentalists who claim that we cannot do this without damaging the environment, are the worst kind of defeatists.

They need to pull their heads out of the sand and use some God-given intelligence. That would show them the right path for the United States to become energy-independent while creating the type of jobs and employment opportunities that would ensure continued stability for a strong economy.

I believe that this should be the No. 1 issue during this election, since it bears directly on our total economy and directly on America's ability to maintain a lifestyle that was obtained by the willingness of past generations to take a leadership position in the development of bold concepts.

Jerome A. "Jerry" Gettler
Hagerstown

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