When all else fails, the supporters of polluting industries charge their opponents of resorting to a “Not In My Backyard” attitude. The latest example arises from the move to permanently protect Lake Erie from dirty oil and gas drilling. In an attempt to turn a ban on drilling into a divisive partisan issue, the supporters of drilling belie any call to open discussion of the issue.
Ohioans have protected Lake Erie by banning dirty oil and gas drilling for over 16 years. The measure arose from a lengthy debate about the costs and benefits of drilling, not as a knee-jerk reaction to potential risks.
Former Governors Celeste and Voinovich, as well as our current governor, Bob Taft, have all supported this ban.
Opposition to oil and gas drilling in Lake Erie need not be the product of a NIMBY attitude. I believe that most people oppose drilling because of the facts. All oil and natural gas drilling can cause problems as diverse as toxic chemical release, wildlife habitat alteration or destruction, and groundwater contamination.
Why would we risk our drinking water, recreational boating and fishing, and vital tourism economy by handing Lake Erie over to oil and gas drilling?
In the end, the oil and gas special interests do not want to discuss the risks of drilling in Lake Erie. Instead, they want to use fears surrounding a temporary spike in energy prices as an excuse for dirty, dangerous drilling in our most precious natural resource. Lake Erie must not be opened to the oil and natural gas industry's risky ventures. I urge our General Assembly to support a common-sense measure to permanently protect Lake Erie.
BRYAN M. CLARK
Ohio Public Interest Research Group
Statistics appear to be so orderly and cold; just numbers relating to distant situations and conditions. But now I know how they can heat up and become indicators of tear-streaked pain. So many others already know this and now my turn has come.
One the afternoon of May 28 in Bay County, Michigan, one vehicle crossed the center line and collided with another driven by a Toledo resident. She died in Saginaw on June 6. I am certain that the other driver carries his own pain and that he wishes he could turn time in reverse, just as I do. But we cannot. We are unknown to each other but we are united at two points that center on a young woman.
She was Denise to family and friends who prized her dearly. To me she was Dia, and the two of us were building a special sort of love that generated great happiness. She had a life complete with dreams and fears, success and loss. We both hoped with confidence that good things were about to take center stage. She was remarkably beautiful to me in every way.
Now when I start my car, I have to think of the inescapable contract I accept with everyone else doing the very same thing. Taking care can be irksome at times and driving is never so simple an activity as we will ourselves into believing. But, you see, someone else's Dia is out there and I want her to get home safely. Mine did not.
PETER D. MACKEY
I don't know how good or bad Toledo Academy of Learning is, but the school has been evicted, and is looking for a new site. Why not check on some public schools? They are complete schools, utilities paid, vacant the next three months, vacant 18 hours a day for the eight and one-half months they are in session. It seems like a lot of opportunity here to use a public, paid-for institution that is vacant most of the time anyway.
VINCENT PAUL YANCEY
The other day while driving I approached a red light. A lady in back of me was blasting her horn while riding my bumper. As soon as I left the intersection, I put on my right turn signal but had to wait for traffic to clear before I could pull out of her way. Yet she continued to blast away on her horn.
I see this same rage in the Pages of Opinion when readers try to blast others off the road, such as that expressed June 28, when the gentleman said the views expressed by conservatives were only good for lining litter boxes, etc. Nothing but insults from start to finish. Not one word of informed information.
There are many people on the road of life who are not satisfied unless they see blood spilled if others don't get out of their way. They can't see beyond their rage.
All should have the right to express their views as long as they don't run someone else's bumper with ill-tempered insults that don't solve anything.
The Blade's June 24 editorial, “Bailing Out Big Tobacco,” displayed your extreme political bias.
Assuming the Justice Department was successful in obtaining a large judgment from the tobacco companies, who would ultimately pay for it? Take Philip Morris, for instance. They are by far the largest food company in the country. They could just raise the price on hundreds of products such as Kraft Foods, Post cereals, Nabisco crackers, Maxwell House coffee, Jello, Miller beer, and many other items.
Obviously we would all end up paying for a judgment against them. These companies paid dearly in the $246 billion settlement with most of our states. The increased costs of cigarettes is also paying for much of that, of course.
The President's suggestion of a settlement is anything but a sellout of public policy but rather a realistic and common-sense approach to a difficult lawsuit championed by the liberal and anti-capitalism Clinton administration. A vast majority of lawsuits are negotiated and settled, as this one should be, and hopefully not at considerable expense to all of us.
Following The Blade's coverage of the budget creation process for the state of Ohio, I never cease to be amazed how far our legislature will go to deceive the taxpayers.
Something that has recently come to my attention is that reportedly funds will be cut for lifeguards at state parks located on Lake Erie, except for Maumee Bay State Park. Of course the park is a political jewel, but are the lives of those enjoying the water there any more important than those at the other parks?
The relative cost for lifeguards is a drop in the bucket when compared to any of the pork projects the politicians love so much. Maybe those responsible politicians in Columbus can console the bereaved families when a life is lost because there wasn't anyone standing guard.
WILLIAM A. DUNN
The way I see it, it was only half a headline. The full headline should have read, “Reappoint Chabler to do The Blade's Bidding.”
North Arvilla Drive
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