Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dear Rep. Burton

Thank you for your speech about ANWR yesterday on the House Floor. The Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. About drilling for oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. Oil that we will drill using methods that pollute the environment. Oil that we will convert into gasoline by processes that pollute our environment. Oil that we will burn to produce electricity, gasoline that we will burn in our vehicles to help us commute to work, putting the exhaust into the atmosphere.

You raise an interesting point in claiming that OPEC and other oil producing countries would lower their prices if they suddenly see that they have "competition". And so I ask you, sir, how long it would take to bring the oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to the market? How long would it take to bring the oil that is potentially along the continental shelf to the market? I am hearing 4 years before we see anything that could even potentially pull down oil or gas prices. In the meantime, we will see those prices continue to go up and up and up.

$5.00 per gallon? $6? $10? How high will they go? Your position is based on the idea that companies will lower their prices because they don't want to gouge the American People. I don't agree with that assumption. I am of the opinion that if they could get away with it, the gas companies would be charging us $20 per gallon. Because they don't care. And by supporting the gas companies, I question whether you care as well. At least, I question your assumptions.

Not one more gallon of oil should be pulled from the ground. Not one more gallon of gas should be burned in our cars. Not until the carbon level in the atmosphere returns to the safe level of 280 PPM. Not 350, which is a level that might prevent the worst climate change disasters according to our scientists. 280, which was the level before the Industrial Revolution started in the late 1700's. When our global population was a sustainable 1 billion people. We are approaching 7 billion people, on a world that can handle 1.

I believe that the American people understand this, Mr. Burton. I believe that the American people care about our kids. I believe you do as well. It's just that you seem to care more for the profits of our largest and most powerful corporations.

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