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Letter: The country needs better oil solutions

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor
Deseret News

I’m writing to voice my opposition to opening up the coast of the USA to offshore oil drilling and voice my opposition to allowing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

President Trump wants to open up most of the East and West coasts of the USA to offshore drilling. Presently, only the gulf area of the USA is open to drilling. The only area that Trump is excluding from his offshore drilling plan is the area offshore of Massachusetts. This area is excluded because Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, wisely enacted legislation that forbids offshore drilling off the coast of this state. Democrat, and even some Republican, officials in coastal states have vowed to block Trump’s offshore drilling plan, but Rep. Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, backs Trump’s decision on offshore drilling.

Bishop’s committee has come up with a proposal to allow states to block drilling in half of the lease blocks off their shore, but after that the states would have to pay hefty financial penalties for blocking offshore drilling. Ryan Zinke, Trump’s choice to head the Interior Department, supports Trump’s plan to open up our coasts to offshore drilling and Zinke wants to cut back on the Blowout Preventer and Well Control regulations written in the aftermath of the 2010, BP Deepwater Horizon oil tragedy.

I don’t think states should be penalized for blocking offshore drilling, and we should be cautious about rolling back regulations intended to prevent oil spills.

President Trump wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling. Is this country so addicted to oil that we are willing to risk another disastrous oil spill or spoil a pristine national wildlife refuge to it? An alternative to drilling for oil in environmentally sensitive areas would be to conserve oil in existing oil fields by retaining the Obama fuel economy standards that Trump wants to scrap.

Russell Patterson

West Valley