News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


It's past time to explore alternative energy sources

To use a cliché about the oil crisis seems appropriate with prices at the pumps at more than $2 and threatening to keep climbing.

You can't have your cake and eat it too, might best describe the dilemma we face between drilling for our own resources or continuing to be dependent upon foreign oil to keep our vehicles moving, our houses warm and the wheels of industry turning.

We can't continue to build gas guzzlers and keep fuel costs below the $2 range. We also can't continue to keep areas such as Alaska free from drilling for natural gas and oil if we keep consuming at the today's rate.

Governments, both state and federal, are looking at opening up oil and natural gas fields to drilling where it has been banned for years.

Alabama already has extensive wells, especially natural gas wells, leased to oil companies. Other areas such as in the gulf offshore from Panama City, Fla., to Gulf Shores, have capped wells that could be a future source of energy.

For decades, politicians have been bemoaning our dependence of foreign oil, but doing little about it.

Perhaps now is the time to start putting money in to renewable energy sources and supporting more research into alternative fuels, such as hydrogen and electricity, to keep our vehicles on the highways.

As long as we remain dependent on oil from countries that take part in groups such as OPEC, we will be at the mercy of countries like Saudi Arabia and those who drive up crude prices through speculation.

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