Associated Press
Energy Secretary Steven Chu testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, before the House Oversight and Investigations subcommittee hearing on the Solyndra solar company loans.

When Dan Memmott wrote "Approve Keystone Pipeline" (Readers' Forum, Dec. 21), he clearly wasn't considering the consequences of continued use of fossil fuels. He ignored the recommendations of the National Academy of Science and 31 other national science agencies that have addressed the issue for their countries.

These groups warn that continued burning of fossil fuels will cause additional warming of the planet, leading to extreme weather events. We are seeing the consequences of a mere 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit temperature elevation — such as 12 weather disasters causing over $1 billion this year, the most ever in the U.S., and 13 of the warmest years in human history in the past 15 years.

I completely agree with Memmott that creating 20,000 jobs would be valuable. However, I'm convinced we would be better served to use the $7 billion he mentioned to develop renewable sources of energy and train the people for jobs in that field. This would not only create permanent jobs, but also reduce our dependence on foreign oil, strengthen our national security and reduce our contribution to climate-changing greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

Bill Barron

Salt Lake City