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Our opinion: Find long-term energy answers

We find the news that President Joe Biden is releasing a million barrels of gasoline from a federal reserve more of a frustration than a relief.

Releasing petroleum from reserves is a short-term band-aid that carries real risks. If a crisis or prolonged economic downturn comes, the U.S. may well regret tapping into this supply.

The United States instead should be pursuing long-term solutions — promoting or incentivizing the production of domestic oil and gas and investment in increased refinery capacity.

As we have editorialized before, the benefits of developing domestic energy sources can be seen right here in our communities. Our economic fortunes as a region over the past 20 years have been thankfully better than communities that lack natural gas to drill, like counties further west and southeast of us, or have refused to allow the production of domestic oil and gas due to environmental alarmism, such as upstate New York.

It is frankly hard for us to understand how an industry that has created decent-paying jobs in our countryside, brought needed state-fee revenues for important projects in our communities and has fulfilled the obligations of our evolving understanding of public and environmental safety can continue to be maligned by some in our region.

It becomes harder to understand when the underlying facts — that our society requires the consumption of energy — leads our leaders to reckless “solutions” like the release of gasoline from a reserve, as reported by the Associated Press. And harder still to understand when we reflect on the truth that the pursuit of more renewable energy — retrofitting dams to generate hydroelectric power and promoting research into affordable battery capacity so that solar and wind can become more viable — can happen concurrently with the production of oil and gas.

We hope our state lawmakers and community leaders can understand the need to balance an appreciation for the environment with the necessity of meeting the energy needs of working families and their employers. We recognize and hope they recognize the first step is to resist the tactics of demonizing an industry that contributes so much to the successes of our nation and our society.

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