A big thank you to The Blade for printing Thomas Friedman's July 22 column, which so clearly pointed out that America's big energy problem is not insufficient fossil fuels but, rather, the need to develop and pursue clean alternative sources of energy. This need applies both to oil and gas for cars and to coal and power plants for utilities.
In May, Ohio finally passed Substitute Senate Bill 221. In it, Ohio has wisely chosen to adopt some of the strongest energy efficiency standards in the country, and our state is also planning to invest in clean, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. To ensure the effectiveness of the new standards set forth in the law, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio must establish strong energy efficiency rules for utilities - with no loopholes. This will benefit both electric consumers and the environment.
PUCO's rules guide the programs that utility companies create, so the commission should consistently monitor and verify the utility companies' achievements in order to ensure public confidence in the energy efficiency program.
Additionally, fair incentives need to be provided for individual consumers and utility companies to invest in electric energy efficiency and/or alternative clean energy sources, because although efficiency and alternative sources save money in the medium and long term, such changes can require up-front investment. Efficiency in usage is the cheapest, cleanest, and most readily available energy resource. Energy efficiency reduces the need for new power plants and oil wells. Best of all, efficiency helps keep our environment clean.
On July 20, The Blade reported that the highest level of international talks, with seven nations, not just the United States, had been held with Iran, in an attempt to finally get Iran to terminate its expanded nuclear enrichment program.
In 1935, Adolf Hitler abandoned the Geneva Convention, began rebuilding Germany's army, and claimed that his actions were only to provide a defense for his nation. Does anyone of the present generation remember what happened when the other nations of the world chose to take no action to stop Hitler from his plan? It resulted in World War II, the death of millions of soldiers and civilians, and the years of economic recovery throughout the Free World.
I realize that, being a part of that generation, being a conservative individual opposed to the 352 members of Congress who generally oppose suggestions from the presidency, or any outside source that is not a part of their party's political position, and particularly of a presidential candidate who has served in the military.
No doubt, many will believe my suggested solution to the Iran problem is extreme. It is this: With the capability of our Air Force, and that of other allied air forces, a stealth aircraft can fly over Iran's nuclear center, at 30,000 feet or more, and flying at the speed of sound, drop a bomb "through the window" of the plant producing nuclear enrichment, and stop its production immediately. No nationals need be intentionally killed, no armies must engage in extended war, and multi-national discussions can end now.
Let's do it now, not after the possible election of a candidate who has no military knowledge or experience. Shocked? Think history.
Dale K. Anderson
Colonel, U. S. Air Force (Ret.)
Over the past several years there has been a constant increase in the number of huge sport-utility vehicles on the roads. These gas hogs have driven the price of fuel up, as have other factors such as the emergence of a middle class in what used to be the Third World countries we shipped our jobs to.
I can't feel a whole lot of sympathy for the guy down the street who can't afford to fill the new Hummer he just purchased with expensive fuel. Not only is he part of the price problem, he is clearly part of the global-warming problem. Remove all the hazardous materials from the beast, dig a big hole, and bury it.
I hope the next government increases the tax for large gas guzzlers and lowers it for small, fuel-efficient cars. Also, a modest reduction in the speed limit should be imposed, even if many drivers ignore it, as they will. Maybe a few speeding tickets will help. There is no excuse for 70 and 75 mile per hour speed limits anywhere.
The question of alternate energy sources should be a priority, but anything we do in that area will take time and the two things I mentioned would have an immediate effect.
St. James Woods
A recent letter in the Readers' Forum had a nice laundry list of things that are going wrong in our country. This included stock market correction, $4 gas price, mortgage foreclosures, etc. The writer closed his letter by saying all this happened under Republican watch. I chuckled a bit: after all, for the last 20 months Democrats have controlled both Houses of Congress. Since Democrats took over Congress the stock market has dropped over 10 percent, unemployment has gone up over 0.5 percent, banks have gone belly up, and the price of a barrel of oil has gone up 50 percent.
As a dedicated Libertarian, I laugh every time I hear one of our two main political parties try to blame the other. Democrats and Republicans share equally for the mess we find ourselves in.
I was watching ESPN the other day and it was showing how the government of China was asking citizens to help clean up the waterway where the Olympic rowing is going to take place. The algae was so thick in the water they had to corral it onto the beach, where citizens were loading it on trucks, then dumping it in a landfill somewhere.
They say the algae was caused by abundance of carbon dioxide in the water. This is the result of pollution from factories upstream. And now they are shutting down factories so the air pollution won't be so bad when the games are going on.
I'm sorry, but as an American I feel like a hypocrite. It is not all right for American companies to pollute our waterways and air. This is an extreme advantage for the Chinese. And people say it is free trade or that China is a developing country. We shouldn't allow products into the United States from other countries that won't adopt our (or similar) environmental or human rights laws.
Instead of announcing a timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq, wouldn't it be a bit more humane to invite the Taliban and al-Qaeda to a going-away party for our troops? Since veteran war analysts like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Barack Obama have found it prudent to let the enemy know when the troops will leave, let's just have an intimate get-together with the enemy so when the beheadings resume and jihad is declared there will be kind feelings for the Americans who forestalled the violence.
After all, the generals failed to convey to the neophytes making these public announcements that telling the enemy a U.S. exit date just gives them time to lay low and prepare for the celebratory blood-bath when troops are "redeployed" to Afghanistan.
The heads-up will give the Code Pink ladies time to make cookies and punch for the returning troops so they are tucked into bed knowing, even though combat was wasted, the legacy of the left has placed the blame for this nasty, nasty war on the generals and President dedicated to protecting our freedoms.
Doesn't that just make you feel warm and fuzzy all over?
Jay C. Benoit
Come to Toledo. Why? Gasoline is 30 to 40 cents cheaper than in Perrrysburg, Sylvania, or any other major suburb. I m selling out and helping to bring the Toledo housing market back in order. Does anyone have a place I d like?