One must always beware of snake oil salesmen. John Quinn is a petroleum-based oil salesman, so of course he wants to reassure you that it is safe to transport Canadian oil sands crude (Maine Voices, “Oil sands crude not to be feared,” Oct. 21).

He focused his entire column just on the transportation issue because he represents industries that want to make a profit selling this crude oil. However, he failed to tell you the real problem with oil sands crude is not its transportation risk.

The real problem is that if this oil is sold and used, it will release enough greenhouse gases into the environment that the rate of climate change will accelerate beyond the point of no return. The planet will become uninhabitable.

We are at a point now where we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by conserving energy and using more renewable forms of energy. When we must use fossil fuels, we must restrict our consumption to the cleaner fossil fuels. Oil sands crude is not one of the cleaner fossil fuels to extract and to burn.

Voters should fear snake oil salesmen who promote oil sands crude, and politicians who deny the reality of climate change.

Judy Weiss of Brookline, Mass., is a member of Citizens Climate Lobby, a national organization of volunteers lobbying for legislation to stabilize the climate.