Letter to the editor | Only the wealthy are benefiting

March 4, 2014 

“Address energy policy needs to benefit all” (CDT, Saturday) basically argued that we would be better off if the federal government wasn’t “holding back” the fossil-fuel and nuclear industries.

This includes opening up federal lands for mining and drilling, allowing increased exports of natural gas, allowing states to manage environmental regulations on public lands, eliminating support for energy conservation, easing the permitting of new nuclear plants and slowing the role of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Wow.

At its foundation, the column is a continuation of the tired old saw that the mythical free market should be unfettered by the government. Implied is that this would result in the greatest good for the greatest number.

Free-market economics good; government bad. If only life was that simple.

What’s overlooked in the article is that neoconservative economics since Reagan has primarily benefited the filthy rich. They would benefit further from the policies recommended in the Heritage Foundation column.

And we, the public, will be left to deal with climate change, poisoned land, dirtier air and a threatened future for our children. The rich reap the rewards now and the majority of us pay for the damage, now and well into the future.

It is indeed the government’s role to make policies that “benefit all.” Most energy businesses’ primary role is to increase profits.

We have always had regulated markets, yet the reduced regulations in the past 30 years have only benefited the rich.

It’s time to reverse that trend.

Andy Lau, State College

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