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Published: Tuesday, 7/15/2008

Government fails to lead on energy

A glaring travesty regarding the fuel crisis is the lack of coordinated effort to conserve. Drive-through windows waste hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline, adding to pollution and global warming. They could be reserved for the elderly and impaired.

Buildings maintained for centuries in other nations are needlessly razed here, wasting vast amounts of energy. The speed limit could be dropped to 55 miles per hour and pride promoted in smaller vehicles over gas-guzzlers. More money should be invested in solar and wind-energy research rather than war.

Refrigerators, one of our most energy-consuming appliances, use energy to make air cold even when it's cold outside and expel hot air into our air-conditioned homes in the summer. They could be redesigned to draw in cold air and exhaust hot via a 4-inch hose through a drier-like vent in an exterior wall.

Implementing and coordinating these and similar measures is the job of government but our neoconservative administration is preoccupied with forcing its ideologies on others and waging a "war against terrorism" abroad, supposedly to "keep terrorists from attacking here at home."

The Bush Administration has impacted our nation with far greater blows than even the most ambitious terrorist could ever hope to. Record national debt, bankruptcies, layoffs, and plant closings continue, and hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their jobs, homes, and hope. Record government spending while jobs and taxable incomes dwindle is shrinking our dollar and further increasing the soaring cost of food and fuel. The administration's needless contrived war continues costing the lives of thousands, impairing thousands more, increasing our enemies and costing billions.

Meanwhile, big oil continues freely siphoning our wallets, while the administration pushes controversial drilling to drain our children's future rather than conservation to secure it.

David A. Warner

Temperance

Please, representatives in Washington, stop playing politics with our lives. We need energy independence now. While thousands of your constituents are being laid off because of rising fuel prices, we get nothing out of Washington but rhetoric.

When we write you to voice our concerns, please don't patronize us with standard form responses that tell us what the United States can't do or should do - we've heard that before. We need to know what you will do. Please, no more studies or photo opportunities in congressional committees. Just get off your backsides and act on behalf of your constituents: the people who voted you into your jobs, not special-interest groups.

This mess did not just happen. Remember the late 1970s and our leaders telling us to turn down the thermostats and put on a sweater? We remember the long lines at the gas stations. What has happened as a result of our energy dependence of that period and the 20-plus year since? Not a thing.

Our situation will not change until the voters send people to Washington who are afraid to lose their jobs. While our country is imploding and Congress' approval rating is below 15 percent, they are concerned with talk radio.

It is time to make them all accountable to the people.

Bob Carlucci

Maumee

The voting record for HR 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, shows that U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) voted no, as did 159 other Republicans. The bill passed by simple majority in the House but got effectively killed by Senate Republicans anyway.

It is my understanding that this bill was simply an extension for providing for $18 billion in subsidies for wind-generation tax credits and solar-generation installations. These subsidies were paid for by simply shifting some of the billions in tax credits President Bush provided to the oil companies. This was not new spending nor would it have an impact on the budget deficit that has been enlarged by the Bush Administration.

The oil companies have made $600 billion in net profit since President Bush took office. Do they really need another $18 billion in tax incentives? That's money that could be earmarked for solving the "oil addiction" America has, a term that Mr. Bush himself used.

In Perrysburg we have First Solar, and in Bowling Green are wind-turbine installations providing renewable power. It seems to me that Mr. Latta is more concerned with party loyalty and politics than he is in serving not only his own constituency but the people of the country as a whole.

I would like to hear an explanation from Mr. Latta on why he was part of the Republican effort to kill alternative energy funding when oil now costs more than $140 a barrel. He needs to explain that to the people working at First Solar as well.

Todd Smyth

Maumee

As I sit here and watch the energy prices go through the roof, the car sales plummet, union members get laid off en masse, and China and India planning to slant drill under the United States for oil off the coast of Florida, I wonder when the voters are going to wake up and throw out of office the politicians who have betrayed our country by pandering to the radical environmental groups.

Those groups' only goal is to destroy capitalism by not enabling us to develop our own energy resources under the feel-good guise of saving our country for the future. And for some inexplicable reason, a great number of our politicians seem to support those goals. We read it every day in our papers: We can't exploit our natural resources because it will take five to 10 years to develop them, and we don't want to spoil the view or irritate a few caribou. Those same politicians were playing the same tune 10 years ago.

During the last election cycle, we were promised a solution by one party. It was elected and its solution was $4 to $5 gas but it seems the voters are on their way to put these same liars back in office. Members of the other party, with no energy policy, seem to have stuck their heads in the sand and do nothing while we are going broke.

Some of the former make hundreds of millions off the questionable global-warming theories, and their buddies in office now are hoping to get on the gravy train by supporting them until they are out of office.

Americans better wake up before a lot of us are living in the Stone Age.

Joe Fern

Maumee

On my drive to work recently, as I listened to the newscaster sharing Toledo's plans for redeveloping the shuttered Southwyck Shopping Center and as a gas-guzzling SUV flew past me with an "I Love Wal-Mart" bumper sticker, I couldn't help but reflect on the best way to celebrate this Independence Day - by patronizing locally-owned, independent businesses right here in our urban neighborhoods rather than big-box national chain stores in the suburbs.

These huge, ground-floor malls surrounded by miles of pavement are an inefficient and unnecessary use of land, considering the millions of square feet of vacant retail space across our nation. Yet last year, developers built 140 million more square feet of shopping centers and big-box stores, and our cities and states encouraged this unwarranted sprawl with infrastructure improvements, tax breaks, and other subsidies.

Citizens who care about the sustainability of this country should be demanding land use and economic policies that put an end to irresponsible and never-ending construction of sprawling shopping centers. We need to stop subsidizing corporate expansion and start nurturing our neighborhood businesses.

Linda Detrick-Jaegly

Economic development & marketing manager

Lagrange Development Corp./United North

Reading in history class about the Salem witch trials in 1692, I could never understand what kind of mentality a person had to have to believe such baseless claims. When I read the news story about some Findlay residents choosing to believe the Barack Obama smears and rumors, I understood.

MARY VISCO

Holland



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