Merrill Matthews’ answer to the question “Renewables the best way to achieve energy independence?” (Jan. 26) amounts to nothing more than a fawning tribute to fossil fuels.

Matthews falsely concludes that the status quo represents the best possible energy mix. He makes the argument that we’re currently getting more energy from fossil fuels than from wind and solar, so, therefore, fossil fuels are the best way to achieve “energy independence.” In 1860, would he have said that because we’re using whale oil to light our lamps, kerosene must be inferior?

And contrary to his unsupported assertion that “renewables can’t match” the performance of fossil fuels, solar and wind are proving that they can produce as much energy as fossil fuels and at a competitive price. Wind power is already cheaper than coal or gas for electricity generation in parts of the United States. And the price of solar panels, despite Trump’s tariff, is dropping steadily.

The most alarming aspect of Matthews’ op-ed is what he fails to mention, namely climate change. He completely ignores that carbon-based fuels produce greenhouse gas emissions that are the primary driver of global warming. Gaining “energy independence” won’t do us much good if we cook the planet in the process.

Michele Vitti