LETTER: In defense of locally produced energy

June 27, 2019

In the 1800s, an extremist movement named The Luddites fought against new technologies and opposed the machinery that helped usher in an industrial revolution.

Then, the prevalent form of transportation was horse, and people typically had one set of nice clothes, lucky to live past 40. Today, the average life expectancy is 79. Medicine has made many epidemics extinct. We have cars and buses, and clothes we buy affordably online.

Yet a new form of Luddites are peddling myths, preying on emotions and giving bus tours around the Ohio Valley in hopes of fighting today’s new technologies – specifically, advancements that reduce the costs of everyday life by making fossil fuels, nuclear power, pipelines and plastics safe, less expensive and more readily available.

To build and grow our modern society – which includes greater access to foods, medicines, fabrics and devices that allow us to connect easily – manufacturers and farmers need locally produced, inexpensive energy to make or grow the products and goods we need.

And plastics are used for more than just packaging; they’re used to make car seats, bicycle helmets, medical equipment and bathroom accessories, and help vehicles increase fuel efficiency, decreasing emissions. These plastics wouldn’t exist without safe, reliable oil and natural gas.

Cities in the Ohio Valley now rank as some of the cleanest places for short-term particle pollution by the American Lung Association. These rankings and the materials we depend on wouldn’t be possible without the very energy a small band of modern-day Luddites want to ban.

By Chris Ventura, Midwest director, Consumer Energy Alliance.

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