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Time to end fossil fuel

Don’t be fossil fooled! Seth Whitehead’s (Illinois Petroleum Resources Board) opinion column is just that, opinion. He neglects to mention that California’s record-breaking heat wave and forest fires are a result of fossil fuels using our atmosphere as a dumping ground.

Fossil-fuel industries are highly automated industries with enormous profits, ranking them in the same employment-to-revenue category (0.25 employees per million dollars of revenue; see Fortune 500 data) as Wall Street investment banks and health-insurance corporations.

Renewable energy is a “Main Street” technology that puts money in our communities. Half of the cost of a rooftop solar system is spent on local installation labor, and the other half is spent on manufactured goods. Companies that make dishwashers, cars, solar panels and wind turbines employ more than 2.5 people per million dollars of revenue (again, see Fortune 500 data). Renewable-energy companies work for a living, and every dollar shifted from fossil fuels to renewable energy employs 10 times more people!

Fortunately, the fossil-fuel industry is unable to compete against renewable-energy economics. Solar-powered electric vehicles are a fraction of the cost per mile as a combustion-powered car, and they perform better, too. A car’s garage-stall roof area (200 square feet) collects enough solar energy in Illinois to drive 12,000 miles per year!

It is time to put “energy from hell” back underground.

TY NEWELL

Urbana