Look in Germany to see why wind and solar power will not replace oil in the decades to come | Letters


Last week, the Sun-Times editorial board wrote that “as renewables come online, it will reduce the need to import oil.” A look at what has happened in Germany over the past decade proves that the conclusion is specious at best.

No country has done more to phase out oil than Germany. But oil remains the country’s primary source of energy – 35% of the energy mix – a decade after the implementation of its “Energiewende” policy. To meet a still strong demand, Germany imports 98% of the oil it consumes, mainly from Russia. Seventy-eight percent of Germany’s energy needs are met by fossil fuels and, as Clean Energy Wire reports, “In the middle of the Energiewende, Germany still relies heavily on imported fossil fuels.

Germany is positive proof that renewable energy mandates do little, if anything, to reduce demand for oil.

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One reason is that wind and solar offer no alternative to the thousands of uses for oil that are essential and widely taken for granted. Fifty-five percent of the demand for oil is other than gasoline and 31% occurs outside the transportation sector. More than 6,000 everyday products, including dozens of medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and tech gadgets like smartphones, are largely petroleum-based. Petrochemicals are even needed to make wind turbines, solar panels, and over 70% of the typical electric car.

We are going to need a lot of oil for decades to come, and it is better to produce as much of it as possible here than to depend on other countries for the oil we need. This is not a “misleading” argument, as the Sun-Times editorial board put it, it is a simple fact.

Seth whitehead
Executive director
Illinois Petroleum Resources Board

Taxing the rich to pay for pandemic relief

In a recent editorial, the Sun-Times wrote that “Democrats and the Biden administration are right to play tough now.”

But Democrats don’t know how to play it that way. Ninety percent of the Senate already knows that President Joe Biden’s pandemic relief bill will only go through the budget reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority vote. So why does the bill not include a tax increase on the rich? The President might say, “Republicans are concerned about the deficit, so we are passing this modest tax increase to pay my bill for COVID-19 relief. ”

It is a message that would be well received by the public, I assure you.

Moreover, even $ 1.9 trillion, in my opinion, is not enough.

Larry Hamsing, Elgin

Good job on the snow plows

Let’s give Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department credit for a great job cleaning up our roads and side streets today. They deserve recognition for a job well done. Taxpayers are getting what they pay for.

Norman DeDore, Garfield Ridge


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