It’s ironically misleading how common the slogan “America’s energy independence” has become in rationalizing environmentally reckless activities that cannot be objectively justified.

Such ill-considered jargon was propagated in statements made by gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, as reported recently in the News.

There are several reasons why the phrase “energy independence” is so deceptive in misguiding the public. First, most Americans are unaware that some million barrels of oil a day are now being exported from the U.S.

If the objective of our public policy is energy independence, why would vast amounts of American-produced oil and gas be exported?

The extraction and distribution of these fuels have been justified on the false claim that it serves U.S. energy needs. Risks to public health and the environment have been tolerated based on that deception. Secondly, despite well-funded propaganda saying otherwise, solar and wind power serves American energy independence far better than oil, whether drilling landside or offshore.

Some states, adopting more pragmatic and politically uncorrupted energy policies, have achieved rapid improvements in power production — and at lower cost — by prioritizing investments in solar and wind instead of dirty energy.

Finally and most importantly, consider the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning about harms to property, human health, and economic vitality unless greenhouse gases — released in combustion of fossil fuels — are rapidly reduced. Policies must not support, much less subsidize in the billions annually, fossil-fuel projects. Georgians are advised to get informed about energy issues and vote accordingly.

David Kyler

Center for a Sustainable Coast

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