Letter to the Editor: No oil drilling in the arctic

Our modern civilization is based on fossil fuels – gasoline, coal, oil and natural gas. However our present overuse of fossil fuels must come to an end as it is hurting our planet. Scientists say that burning fossil fuels is producing an excess of CO2 or carbon dioxide, which is one of the main gases warming the planet.

The other day I read an article written by Bill McKibben, (LA Times (10/23/17), regarding drilling for carbon fossil fuels in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

McKibben said that the budget under consideration in Washington would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. The final decision may come down to a group of House Republicans who have announced they are interested in “climate solutions”.

With the help of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, 60 lawmakers — 30 from each party — have been persuaded to join a caucus that aims “to educate members on economically viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy.” If the members take that mandate seriously, saying “no” to Arctic refuge drilling should be a no-brainer.

The refuge is not only a beautiful, wild, serene place, it is a safe storage container for something very dangerous; the carbon that the oil will produce if it is ever burned.

The possible 7.7 billion recoverable barrels of oil the refuge may contain if piped down to civilization would release carbon dioxide equivalent to opening 820 new coal-fired power plants and running them for a year. It would be like putting 23 million new cars on the road and operating them for the next three decades.

Democrats and Republicans should say no to this terrible idea of drilling for oil in the Arctic.

Guido Rivero