To the Editor:
Contrary to “” (front page, Jan. 26), today’s low oil prices pose little risk to the continued rapid scale-up of clean energy in the United States. Because only 1 percent of United States electricity comes from burning oil, oil prices don’t affect the rapid growth of renewable power and energy-efficiency improvements on our electricity grid.
Indeed, in 2015 wind and solar power projects provided more than half of the new electricity capacity built in the United States. On the transportation side, the strong fuel economy standards put in place by the Obama administration continue to drive fuel efficiency forward.
And despite a 70 percent decline in oil prices, sales of electric cars have remained steady, and vehicle miles driven over the last year increased by less than 5 percent.
Americans continue to demand clean energy, understanding that when we take into account the full costs of the harm and hazards that oil imposes on our environment and health, it is not cheap — at any price.
The writers are directors of the Energy and Transportation Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.