It will be of untold benefit in the future to have alternative sources of energy such as solar and nuclear power. In the meantime, it is critical that we develop America's own oil reserves in off-shore areas.

Congress needs to act on this authorization, including building of more refineries. It is not too late, even though we have been held hostage in this oil crisis by the extreme environmentalists for nearly four decades.

Oil is still the engine of progress to maintain our standard of living and retain our world leadership as well as national defense. Technology has advanced our ability to drill with minimal environmental effect. Let's not be blinded to free ourselves from bondage to foreign oil. It is not too late.

Vernie Swenson

Salt Lake City