Letters to the Editor  Spring 2012

A Call for Balance in Environmentalism and Education

Dear Editor:

After reading Charlie Eckberg’s Letter to the Editor in the Fall 2011 Coastlines, I believe other UCSBC graduates might share in my more balanced concerns for energy sources and protecting the environment. First of all, I am a petroleum geologist, and, secondly, I am a Venoco shareholder. Also, I am a realistic environmentalist. With partners, I participate in drilling and developing oil and gas reserves. We are proud that our mineral owners are pleased with our operations, and that we have not had any complaints about noxious noise or pollutions.

The International Energy Agency predicts a 40 percent increase in global energy demand by 2030. If this proves to be correct, then we will need all reasonable renewable and non-renewable energy sources to satisfy this demand. To focus on ending the “dependence on fossil fuels” is an absolute waste of time and energy. The focus should be on developing a spectrum of clean and economic energy sources — solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, etc. — to power our quality of life whether in Santa Barbara, Calif., or Denver, Colo.

UCSBC should have a responsibility to provide a balanced education for all students. To publicize “ending dependence on fossil fuels and stopping offshore drilling” may be the University’s goal, but I seriously doubt that all of the current and former students “buy” this narrow approach to solving the future energy supply.

I am not in favor of drilling within the city of Santa Barbara, and if Santa Barbara County doesn’t want offshore drilling along the Santa Barbara County coast, fine with me. However, there are places in Santa Barbara County that permit drilling just the same as in Kiowa County, Kan.

I will look forward to future articles in Coastlines reporting on energy research that will help provide our future needs.

Louis C. Bortz, ’54

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