This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
If you haven’t been following the saga (and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be!), the city of Charlotte, NC, is building a light rail system, and, in a tactic surely appropriated from Seattle, some residents there have gotten a vote on the ballot to recall the whole thing, despite the fact that construction is well underway.
Here’s one op-ed arguing why that would be a bad idea:
Maybe the guys who want to scrap Charlotte’s light-rail system didn’t read the Observer’s “Our Energy Future” series. Maybe they forget that independence requires sacrifice on the part of all Americans, not just by those in our armed forces. Or maybe they’ve forgotten the Great Oil Crisis of 1973.
That was the year yours truly and a lot of other commuters learned to ride our public transportation system, then known as buses. We had fooled ourselves into thinking that gas-guzzling sedans and station wagons meant true independence. Suddenly some Middle Eastern politicians who didn’t like our support of Israel put a halt to that illusion. Their oil export embargo hit this nation’s consumers virtually overnight.
Sure, things like the strategic petroleum reserve have softened the potential effects of an embargo, but they’re still there: we’re importing far more oil now than we were 30 years ago, both in relative and absolute terms. Light rail’s not the only answer, but it’s part of it.