The United States missed the boat. It could have led the world in alternative energy production and likely averted the crisis of global warming we now face. In the 1970s, following an economy-stifling oil embargo, President Richard Nixon initiated a huge alternative energy research and development program that promised energy independence. In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan killed the program. Now China leads the world’s production of solar and wind energy while the U.S., the second highest polluter of greenhouse gases, helps to destroy our environment and that of innocent victims in less developed countries.

Now Republican lawmakers complain that gas prices are high because we don’t produce enough petroleum. In fact, in 2021, the U.S. exported more petroleum than it imported. The oil market is global. Prices rose with war against Ukraine, limiting of supply by OPEC and record profits by oil companies. Lawmakers need to understand the market and think long term.

Promoting more petroleum production will not solve the energy-supply issue but will assure that the effects of global warming continue to devastate our economy and push us even faster toward the tipping point from which there is no return.

Barbara A. Coe, Spokane