J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 13, 2011, about pending House legislation that includes the extension of the payroll-tax cut and a provision to speed up approval of the controversial Keystone pipeline.

In a recent letter ("No Keystone pipeline, Readers' Forum, Dec. 28), Bill Barron suggests that it would be better to invest money in renewable energy projects rather than in a proven kind of project such as the Keystone pipeline. I have no problem with the idea of developing renewable energy. However, to chase that kind of idea and completely rule out fossil-fuel projects is not wise.

Fossil fuels have proven to be some of the best energy sources. But environmentalism has adversely affected too many people. If it were not for fossil fuels, civilization would be in a worse condition than it already is.

Coal-fired power plants are still the best way to produce electrical power, and they have been modified greatly in the last several years so that they cause far less pollution. As far as petroleum is concerned, even the windmills require lubrication.

It is too bad that temperature inversions happen causing air pollution. However, when a lot of people live in a bowl and there is no wind, polluted and stale air is created. That would happen even if there were no cars around.

Russell Bender