Thanks to Stephen Speckman of the Deseret News (Aug. 11) for moving forward on the discussion of oil shale/tar as a new home-grown energy source. Yes, these native tars could be an abundant source of petroleum products — although their extraction can be an abomination, demanding high energy and water and leaving behind toxic-waste waters to percolate into streams and aquifers.

The core problem, however, is that tar sands can only worsen the problem we are trying to solve: reduction of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels. Tars release even more CO2 than coal. Why not seek to build an electricity industry based upon sun, wind and geothermal heat — sources that are free, unending, producing zero CO2? Diversion to tar sands is just another black hole.

Naomi Franklin

Salt Lake City