Letters to the editor: The buck on oil doesn't stop with Biden

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A disparity in oil production worth noting

Mike Gowins states that we don't get oil from Russia, that oil is now $200/barrel, that Russia is not to blame, that Biden is to blame, that the U.S. is the biggest loser and suggests that opening the Keystone XL pipeline is the answer (Letters, March 24).

First, Ukrainians are the ones losing lives, not just dollars. Second, the U.S. imported 672,000 barrels a day from Russia in 2021, 200,000 in crude and the rest in other petroleum products. Third, Keystone is a pipeline not an oil field.

The higher prices are a textbook example of supply and demand coupled with fear. Oil prices were much lower during the COVID-19 responses around the world. When the economic recovery began, the supply was not there to meet the demand.

It may seem convenient to Mr. Gowin to blame one person or one party for his more costly gas, but the facts simply do not support his claims.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has doubled its oil production over the last 15 years and is the world's leader at both producing and using oil, about 20% each, while having about 4.25% of the world's population. That's a disparity worth noting.

John Pinney, Eugene

No control over oil prices

Mike Gowins believes President Biden is responsible for the high price of a gallon of gasoline. He states that we should "open up the Keystone XL pipeline" to alleviate the problem.

The Keystone pipeline would still be under construction even if it had been left in place and therefore couldn't help us now. In fact, cancellation of the pipeline didn't impact our production levels in any way. The amount of crude oil produced per day in Biden's first year exceeds the average daily amount produced under Trump from 2017 to 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Plus, President Biden has surpassed Trump in issuing drilling permits on public land.

America produced more energy than it used when Trump was in office, and it still does so today. There are many factors at play in the rise of gasoline prices since Biden took office, increased demand after pandemic lockdowns ended, inflation and the war in Ukraine. Lower oil production in the U.S. isn't one of them.

Finally, oil prices are set globally. Our politicians have literally no control over them.

David Hixson, Springfield

Stealing home

I oppose the proposed Ems stadium at the fairgrounds. According to news reports, the stadium would cost $50 million, and the Ems could only pay $10 million. I love the Ems, but I can’t believe the proposal has advanced this far given these numbers. We live about eight blocks from the fairgrounds. During the annual Lane County Fair, traffic, parking and noise from the fair is very bad. We can hear the announcers all day long. I can’t imagine what it must be like for those who live closer to the fairgrounds. The fair only runs for five days. The Ems proposal would add 60 home games from May through September. And they are talking about adding rodeo, concerts (we already have the Cuthbert) and other events. An R-G article shows that in a neighborhood survey only 8% of residents close to the fairgrounds support the proposal. The proposed stadium will not spur economic development in the area. There are no significant commercial businesses anywhere nearby. It is all residential. The only way for commercial development would be to displace residential housing. We cannot afford the stadium financially or responsibly. Jim Kocher, Eugene

Madman with a bomb

There has been a nightmarish fear in the minds of humans who clearly understand the horrific destructive power of a nuclear bomb. This fear arose when the United States destroyed Hiroshima, killing many of the people there, with one uranium bomb in 1945.

Then, this fear was further magnified in 1952 when the U.S. announced its detonation, in a test, of a much more powerful thermonuclear "hydrogen" bomb.

The specific fear I am citing is the possibility that a sociopathic wealthy individual or head of state could somehow gain control of a nuclear bomb. That would be the "madman with a bomb" scenario.

Consider Vladimir Putin. Putin proclaims that the people of Ukraine have been historically part of Russia and Russian culture. At the same time, he murders thousands of Ukrainians — men, women and children — by ordering assaults by the Russian military.

When Putin speaks publicly about Ukraine, his messages are so inconsonant with reality that it calls to mind the language of governance in Orwell's "1984," "newspeak." Putin speaks in a governmental gibberish.

The evidence is there: Putin is the psychotic "madman with the bomb."

Leo W. Quirk, Corvallis

Don't destroy established neighborhoods

I hate urban sprawl as much as anyone, and farm land outside the urban boundaries must be protected, but the city planning staff's recommendations that allow extreme deregulation are not the answer.

I have never been a NIMBY. For many years I have advocated for granny flats and duplexes mid-block. I welcome these changes to create infill. But I do not want large buildings that house four to eight apartments on one or two standard city lots. Among other disadvantages, they may obscure the sun from neighboring properties.

Existing affordable housing must not be razed to make way for buildings that replace them with market-rate housing. Nothing in the staff proposals requires replacement housing to be affordable for low- or moderate-income citizens, and that is the housing that is so desperately needed in this town.

Please do not destroy the quality of life in established neighborhoods. It is not necessary or desirable to go beyond the state's housing and zoning code changes in HB 2001.

Joella Ewing, Eugene

New routines for Enzo

I look forward to reading Don Kahle’s column every Friday. My dog Enzo looks forward to running out the door to grab the paper (where it lands reliably every morning), and bring it back where he collects his fee for delivery, a few kibbles, a small price to pay, especially on those cold winter mornings.

Except this Saturday. We’ve known this day was coming because of the regular communications provided by The R-G, but my faithful dog did as he does. He headed to the front door and waited to bolt out the door and grab the paper, often checking the surroundings to see if he could catch a glimpse of the deliverer. We talked, and then I fed him as I always do, without the ceremony of grabbing that roll of newspaper and dropping in the kitchen for me to unroll. Instead, I pulled up the electronic version and worked my way through as usual, absent filling in part of the crossword. Kahle did a good job of getting me to think about Saturday delivery. Dogs are resilient and Enzo will adjust to Saturdays, absent his daily delivery and treat, and I suspect I will, too. G. Thomas Gardner, Eugene

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Letters to the editor: The buck on oil doesn't stop with Biden