As a University of Utah graduate and chemical engineer, I must respond to Joe Andrade's tirade against University of Utah now offering a masters degree in petroleum engineering ("Typewriters, petroleum," July 31). Andrade should leave the wild rhetoric to the climatologists, the politicians and the Al Gore's of the country. We engineers need to bring sound objective science to bear on practical energy needs for a vibrant, growing society. First of all, the amount of energy produced by mankind from petroleum resources is insignificant compared to the energy radiated from the sun and reflected and re-radiated to space.

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Now, what about the practicality of solar and wind energy? The real estate and transmission line investment required make these resources impractical. Add to that the fact that solar and wind investment must be backed up 100 percent because of restricted reliability.

What about nuclear power? We do need a return to that. I spent a career in nuclear energy, and I know that to be a reliable and practically unlimited resource. But we unilaterally retired our development pretty much due to irresponsible an irrational opposition by political activists similar to the global energy crowd.

So for my part, I applaud University of Utah for offering a masters in petroleum engineering.

Paul Kelly