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The faster we use nonrenewable energy, the sooner we’ll use it up

Why is it so hard for John E. Sununu and the drain-America-first crowd to understand that the faster we use petroleum, natural gas, or any other nonrenewable resource, the sooner we’ll use it up (“Best energy policy? None,” Op-ed, Dec. 10)? The scarcer these resources become, the more they cost.

Fracking, even ignoring its environmental effects — which those who like water for drinking and irrigation might not want to do — is only economically possible today because the price of petroleum is so high.

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Also, don’t forget that petroleum is also the raw material for much of our chemical industry (think plastics). Instead of trying to use it up and ship it out as rapidly as possible, America should be trying to conserve it, to save it for when it becomes really scarce worldwide and really expensive.

That’s why those government policies that Sununu derides, such as efficiency standards and support for wind and solar energy, are so important.

Bruce Novak

Needham

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