Editor, Daily Nexus,

Why should we open up Los Padres National Forest to oil drilling?

If, as Stephanie McCoy says (Daily Nexus, Jan. 28, “Should Los Padres National Forest Be Open to Oil Drills?: The Forest Won’t Be Affected by the Free Market”), we open up LPNF to drilling and no corporation will take the opportunity, then why is it on the agenda? Agenda items don’t just form out of curiosity. Someone in LPNF didn’t wake up and say, “Why don’t we open up for drilling and see if anyone comes; I’m just curious.” No. By advocating the drilling, we would be desperately investing in a short-term solution while the long-term solution is staring us in the face. The short-term solution of expanding oil drilling for the problem of a growing energy demand and diminishing oil reserves gives rich executives more money, funnels that money into our political system, and pollutes our environment. Sympathize with the Bush administration as much as your conscience allows, but its most glaring characteristic is its ruthless ability to bend the whole world over for the oil companies’ interests.

The shame is on us. We have the technology to produce clean energy, to limit pesticide use and sustain agricultural output, to log in perpetuity while keeping healthy forests. That is what pisses environmentalists off. We can do everything that they ask, but we are lazy and we comply with corporate interests. In regards to corporate interests, if you are not against them, then you are with them. They want a passive society that ponders in indifference and will eventually end up in the hottest rings of hell.

And for the free-market economist: you’re right, the Pareto optimal level is reached with more competition, but let’s not blindly let our words profess the free market in all situations. Remember the deregulation of California’s energy. Remember the deregulation of airport security. Let’s use competition in the right way, and let’s use our environment in the right way, too.