To the editor:
You would think that maybe once, the president could ignore the extreme left and do what's best for the country.
The Keystone Pipeline should be approved. Obama's own state department has said that building the pipeline will have absolutely no effect on carbon emissions. People with common sense know that blocking the pipeline will not keep one drop of the tar sands oil underground.
China would love to have it, and in fact is already making purchases in an effort to secure it. The state department also found that the initial construction period would result in more than 42,000 jobs a year. These will be private sector jobs that won't cost the taxpayers a thing.
Right now the U.S. imports about two million barrels of crude oil a day, including some from countries who are unfriendly to us. CNN reports that the pipeline could replace close to half of that because oil from pipelines is generally cheaper than oil that is shipped.
The pipeline will not supply crude oil to China or any other country. The refineries will refine the crude and then ship excess refined products such as gasoline and heating oil. Gasoline is already one of our nation's largest exports, going mostly to Latin America.
Also, trying to replace carbon based energy with wind power is unrealistic. Germany is second only to Denmark in the amount of wind turbines in use among European Union countries. Germany also has the second highest electric rates in the EU, second again to Denmark.
Over the past four years Germany's energy costs have almost doubled, despite the fact that wind supplies only 10 percent of their energy. The popular German weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel, recently stated that, "Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany." And ironically, Germany's coal consumption, as well as carbon emissions, actually rose last year because wind power, being inherently unreliable, needs to be backed up by another power source running at base load capacity.
So if the goal is to reduce carbon emissions, wind makes very little difference. However, if the goal is to slaughter birds and destroy wildlife habitat, wind turbines do the job. The U.S. fish and wildlife service estimates that wind turbines kill over 500,000 birds per year including many birds of prey such as bald eagles and golden eagles.
That number will only go up as more turbines are built thanks to all the taxpayer subsidies. In order to erect 21 wind turbines in Craftsbury, Vt., 134 acres of woodland had to be clear cut. The view of the ridge line has been destroyed (a 1.8 megawatt wind turbine has 148 ft. blades on a 262 ft. tower totaling 410 feet) and some people who live nearby even complain that noise from the turbines has caused sleep loss and headaches.
And while the left keeps pushing for them, they don't seem to want turbines anywhere near themselves. Even Ted Kennedy and the Kennedy family fought against placing wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. Maybe that's one reason wind turbines are mostly seen in rural areas. There are fewer people to fight against them.
Some of you may have heard about a number of counties in Colorado wanting to form their own state. One of the big issues was that wind turbines, built to supply "green" energy for urban areas, were erected in their counties, and for that, their electric rates were increased while rates for the urban areas remained the same. Mifflin County has a beautiful natural treasure in Jacks Mountain, and I think it would be a shame to ruin it for no good reason.