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Why sell our best shot at energy independence to other countries?

ConservationPetroleum IndustryNatural GasBusiness Enterprises

Once again Robert Ehrlich, our twice-defeated former governor, is not leveling with the citizens ("Road to energy independence goes through ANWR and Keystone," March 11). Like his colleagues in the extreme Republican tea party, Mr. Ehrlich claims that we need to extract gas and oil from sources that pose serious environmental risk in order to attain energy independence.

But that's not the real objective. Enriching the already exceptionally profitable energy companies is the objective.

The U.S. is now enjoying a glut of natural gas from shale deposits. The supply is so great that natural gas prices are at record lows. So we have a win-win situation: plenty of domestic gas to help achieve energy independence at low prices. And the gas is safely stored underground, where it's been for millions of years, and it can be quickly extracted when we need it.

But some energy companies now want to export this abundant gas supply to other nations. Democrats in Congress have prudently suggested a time-out on exporting so we can study the impact of exporting this domestic resource on attaining our goal of energy independence.

However, the members of Mr. Ehrlich's Republican Party in the House have rejected this suggestion and want the exporting to go ahead. If they are so concerned about energy independence, why on earth would they want to export a cheap plentiful domestic energy source?

It is perfectly fine to have a debate over whether we want to extract resources from environmentally risky sources to increase profits for U.S. companies and add a few jobs (it really is not that many). But please be honest about it. Stop braying about energy independence when you really don't care about it.

Wilbur Carroll, Columbia

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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