Letter to the Editor: Tying the pieces together

2 mins read

For several years, I’ve been reflecting on how so many of our biggest problems fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. It becomes more and more true with each passing day.

In brief, the interrelated pieces are JOBS / THE ECONOMY / ENERGY INDEPENDENCE as we approach PEAK OIL / and the SQUANDERING or our surplus of 8 years ago in a pointless WAR in IRAQ.

And now we have an opportunity to crank away on each of these, with ending the war in Iraq as just a first step. The stimulus package being considered in Congress should include the following actions which would really work toward putting this puzzle together:

We need investment in hybrid buses, light rail way systems, mass transit for the cities, bike lanes (not just the repair of existing roads and bridges). All of these infrastructure programs create jobs.

We desperately need to upgrade dramatically the electric grid. Then solar and wind power from the southwest can move across the country without the current loss of energy. Thus we could cleanly power electric vehicles and stop burning coal for electric power.

If local governments have a seat at the table, they can focus on the need for transit, conservation, tax offsets for energy improvements in our homes, more efficient appliance, etc. Americans are turning to mass transit and efficient products more than ever, but local agencies are pressed tight for resources. We need to create local jobs and solve the transportation problem, lowering emissions, cutting our oil consumption, and being a part of the “energy independence” solution.

There’s plenty to do, and a comprehensive program is desperately needed. Let’s get started! And enough with bank handouts already! Didn’t those work well?

Eileen Kreutz

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