I sent a letter to a local newspaper on a local topic, allowing drilling for oil and gas in offshore Florida. However, it also speaks to the general situation so here it is.

Dear Editor

The present debate about drilling for oil and gas off the Florida shore urges me to add my voice to the debate. In the wake of the energy crisis of the early 1970s caused by oil exporting countries cutting back sharply on supply, then President Carter launched a plethora of programs to stimulate development of alternative energy. There was plenty of Fed funds for the followers of the Gods Helios and Aeolis. And we saw a host of new ideas.

Today only one of the new energies developed then is still in wide scale use, harnessing methane gas on pig farms to provide energy for the farm. I fear that the same will occur in today’s situation, tons of money for alternative energy to wind up as a pile of “animal waste”

The underlying problem facing development of alternative energy is the fact that, while a barrel of oil from Saudi Arabia costs about $75, the actual cost of producing it is about $2. No matter how cheaply you make alternative energy it must always face the fact that it may have to compete with oil at a price of $2 a barrel.