A recent article on the proposed FDS Coke Plant was misleading. As the lead environmental consultant for FDS on this project, let me point out that the Environmental Review Appeals Commission's ruling did not address the substance of the modifications to the original permit that were the result of extensive discussions between FDS, Ohio EPA, and the Ohio Attorney General; the submission of more than 1,000 pages of additional information, and extensive public comment.
The commission simply made a jurisdictional determination that the director did not have the authority to modify the permit while an appeal was pending.
The permit provided for the lowest air pollutant emissions per ton of coke of any coking operation in the United States. During the permit process FDS clearly demonstrated and Ohio EPA agreed that air pollutants that will be emitted by the coke plant do not adversely impact ambient air quality.
The vocal minority of local opponents simply wish to create delay after delay in the hope that the project's financial backers acquiesce. That would result in a tremendous loss for Ohio and the United States.
The project includes a "zero emission" power plant providing 100 percent green energy. As a domestic producer of coke, FDS displaces imports from China, produced with higher emissions of mercury, greenhouse gases, and other pollutants directly impacting the U.S., including Ohio. The project helps protect our nation from increases in steel prices. Would the plant's opponents wish to see steel prices rise, as oil has?
The project will result in an investment of more than $800 million. It will create more than 1,500 construction jobs and hundreds of manufacturing jobs. Economic impact to Ohio will exceed $1 billion. The support of citizens in Toledo and Oregon is a testament to the critical need.
Lance S. Traves
Labyrinth Management Group
Smoking: Blade's view not the public's
The Blade supported the first Lucas County smoking ban that was declared by Dr. David Grossman. It also deemed efforts to rally against it fruitless and foolish. The efforts against the law were successful and the law was declared illegal and was overturned. Strikes one and two.
The Blade supported the recent smoking ban under the Ford administration. The Blade wrote about how great business was under the ban and how everyone loved it. The truth was that the law was bad for business and Toledoans realized it was unfair. Despite The Blade deeming efforts to change the law fruitless and foolish, voters approved an amendment and changed the law. Strikes three and four.
The Blade wholeheartedly supported the current "Smokefree Workplace Law." The problems with the current ban are many: This law lied to the private clubs, advising them that they would be exempt, but in reality the exemption is written so tightly, not one private club with a liquor license qualifies. The poorly written law requires smokers to stand outside in unprotected areas to smoke. The law also allows violations to be called in anonymously.
The Blade turns a blind eye to these and other problems with the law and declares "On smoking, no means no."
So tell us, how many times does The Blade need to be publicly corrected before it will recognize that its positions on controlling the behavior of adults are not representative of the positions of the people who live in Toledo?
Maybe parents need a dressing-down
A June 14 Blade article outlined Maumee schools' proposed dress code. Are you kidding me?
The school has to have rules regarding the following:
Tops and bottoms of sufficient length so stomachs aren't hanging out?
Skirts at least a certain length?
Spiked heels? What's the purpose of spiked heels other than looking like a hooker?
No profane sweatshirts and T-shirts?
Hats, doo-rags, bandanas, sweat bands? Huh?
Low cut, plunging necklines that expose underwear?
Pajama bottoms and lounge pants?
Are you kidding me? Where are the parents and how do these kids get out of the house dressed like this?
I don't blame the kids; their job is to get away with whatever they can. It is the job of parents (or parent) to be the parent and not their kids' best friend.
It is no wonder that schools have to implement dress codes and school uniforms. They would not be needed if parents would do their jobs.
The hard reality of gasoline prices
Gasoline prices have gone down, and it's not even Labor Day yet.
A Blade letter writer recently demanded the government "do something" about gas prices. He should be careful what he asks for because it is government "do something" regulations and gasoline taxes that are responsible for the high prices.
Government regulations have made it financially prohibitive for the oil companies to build a new gas refinery since 1976. They don't even apply for a license any more, and, when shortages appear, they just raise their prices.
Columnist Tom Friedman recently had an idiotic idea: raise gas taxes to make gas more expensive so that Americans will use less.
Why is this idiotic?
The most successful oil company, Exxon-Mobil, which has to look for crude oil, drill in the hardest places, refine the oil, and bring it to us, makes 10 cents per dollar of sales.
State and local governments that spend their time obstructing everything the oil companies do make around 17 cents per dollar of sales.
While Mr. Friedman's suggestion would discourage some gasoline use, it does nothing to increase the availability of additional gasoline, which has to precede any lasting reduction in gas prices.
Congressman John Dingell says "Big Oil" is "gouging" us because Exxon-Mobil has annual earnings of $40 billion. But that's only 10 cents per dollar of sales. Sadly, a demagogue like Big John Dingell will not tell you that this is one third of Google's profitability, which is 30 cents per dollar of sales.
I have seen no overheated reports or letters in The Blade that "Big Internet" is gouging us. No congressional hearings where Big John can browbeat their CEOs. I guess there's no political benefit in demagoguing Big Internet.
Empty promises on Southwyck project
In response to a June 16 letter, it seems to me the mayor's hands are tied at this point with respect to the Southwyck redevelopment project.
With City Council's support, the mayor can only promote our city to potential local and out-of-state retailers who may wish to have a stake in the new Southwyck area. Fortunately for us and for Southwyck, there is no better cheerleader for the City of Toledo than Carty.
Southwyck's apparent lack of progress is a fault to be shared among Larry Dillin the real estate developer, the mall's current owners, and the CEO of Dillard's Department Store, Bill Dillard.
Over the last year, South Toledo's residents have heard time and time again from Mr. Dillin that he is engaged in positive discussion with Mr. Dillard and is very close to a verbal commitment to stay as the new mall's anchor store.
He has given Mr. Dillard deadlines to respond to his redevelopment offers, but it seems Mr. Dillard has ignored all of them. I, for one, am tired of Mr. Dillin's rhetoric and apparently empty promises.
Mr. Dillin dropped the ball on Stautzenberger College and it pulled out of Southwyck and will move out of the city. The time is now for him to step up to the plate and get a commitment to stay from Mr. Dillard, aggressively pursue other potential anchor stores, or step aside before Southwyck loses Pier One or other area retailers who have already expressed an interest in staying at the new mall lest he desires a totally barren Southwyck ghost town.
Now that would be a wonderful legacy to leave for his grandchildren to enjoy.
Jeffrey D. Sullivan
First Anna Nichole Smith.
Then Rosie and Trump.
Now Paris Hilton.
Enough, I say!