Associated Press
US President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on January 24, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Rarely have I seen an issue debated so convincingly on both sides as when President Obama decided to deny the Keystone XL pipeline. Bright and thoughtful people have come down decisively on both sides of the debate, as witnessed by the conflicting editorials in the Deseret News ("Bad Keystone Decision," Jan. 23) and the Salt Lake Tribune ("Pipeline pause: Obama right to punt decision," Jan 21).

One reason there is such heated debate is that the United States lacks a comprehensive energy policy. Such a policy must approach our national energy needs and at the same time address climate change caused by burning carbon fuels. Without such a policy, we can have little success ourselves or have significant influence convincing other nations to reduce greenhouse emissions

Amory Lovins shows how we can transition off of fossil fuels yet meet U.S. energy needs in his book "Reinventing Fire." (The National Geographic-sponsored presentation of his book launch can be viewed on YouTube). If Congress would act on our need and ability to transition off fossil fuels, we wouldn't have to debate the merits of another pipeline.

David Folland

Sandy