Today's headlines proclaim "Crude soars to a new high on Iran, Nigeria worries." Additional news reports of concerns with Israel and with supply disruptions in Nigeria and Brazil. In the process, our economy slows, our stock market tumbles, our retirement plans drop and our people are laid off from jobs. Do we need any more evidence of our national need for energy independence?

For 30 years, national policy has been to not develop new energy resources, not build new refineries, not build nuclear power plants, but to consume cheap foreign energy. It is time for a new "American Declaration of Energy Independence."

Commence exploration in the Arctic. Commence drilling offshore. Commit to construction of new nuclear power plants. Open federal lands to the mining of oil shale. Offer tax incentives for development and implementation of alternative technologies. Phase in a ban on importation of foreign oil. Dump those who embrace the failed policies that put us in this situation.

Jim Ferrin