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2017 Letters to the editor stock

On an environmentalist level, guest columnist Kirk Lippold's defense of solar energy Wednesday was most welcome in The Times' Opinion page.

I did have one objection, however.

Lippold warned that blocking foreign-made panels from being sold here would cause a third of American solar jobs to be lost. Later in the column, he also said using solar makes importation of oil unnecessary.

Honestly, replacing payments for Saudi oil with payments for Chinese solar panels is a partial victory at best. The real solution is for U.S. solar companies to reach sufficient process efficiencies and order quantities to bring down unit costs — and for U.S. subsidies (based on the environmental benefits) to take care of the rest.

Chinese companies should be urged to open manufacturing plants in the United States to prove their processes can be profitable when conforming to U.S. labor laws and environmental regulations.

Buy American!

Barry Halgrimson, Munster

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Editor

Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.