Letters to the editor on RPS, promoting general welfare, ‘If I Were the Devil,’ Canadian health care, genetically modified foods

05/20/2014 12:00 AM

05/19/2014 5:33 PM

Energy standard working for Kansas

The Kansas renewable portfolio standard (RPS) has been an economic boon to the Sunflower State. Despite the deceptive assertions of some clean-energy opponents (“Eliminate the RPS mandate,” May 1 Opinion), the jobs, growth and affordable power the RPS has driven to the state cannot be disputed.

With costs down 43 percent in just four years, wind power is an increasingly attractive investment for Kansas. It’s no wonder that a recent poll found 91 percent of Kansas voters support harnessing the state’s vast wind-energy resources. They know that harnessing homegrown power benefits local communities and economies.

Kansas provides some of the most affordable power in America, making wind energy great for consumers. New power purchase agreements (long-term power contracts) for Kansas wind power, locked in for 20 years or more, are below $30 per megawatt-hour, and – because the price of wind never increases – wind helps keep the price of power low for the long term.

The RPS helps make the Kansas electric grid more diverse and reliable; lowers energy prices for businesses, manufacturers and homeowners; and makes Kansas more energy-independent.

The Legislature was wise to preserve it.

JEFF CLARK

Executive director

Wind Coalition

Austin, Texas

Read preamble

A letter said that “the federal government’s only purpose is to protect the union of the states” (“Usurped power,” May 16 Letters to the Editor). Perhaps it’s time for everyone to read and reread the preamble to the Constitution, and go on to the other premises – reasons for being – of the Constitution, such as to “promote the general welfare” (not private, not corporate or business welfare). That is an activist statement, and though open for discussion, it makes Medicare and Social Security, among many other programs, clearly qualified as being for the general welfare.

It hardly seems debatable.

We could even hope that the U.S. Supreme Court would refer to the preamble now and then.

HARV HIEBERT

North Newton

Simpler, better

As we still hear about confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act, I think about how different it is in Canada. I go there to work in the summer and see how much simpler things can be for the person who needs medical care. Residents of Canada can go to the Manitoba Health website and see the following:

“Medicare has become culturally and politically important to Canadians as a reflection of, and as a defining influence on, our national identity. Shared principles of equity, fairness and compassion are embodied in the health care system, and the services it provides are now regarded as a basic right.

“In order to receive medical attention, Canadians need only go to the physician or clinic of their choice and present the health insurance card issued to all eligible residents of a province or territory. There are no charges, deductibles or dollar limits for insured medical services (physician, hospital and surgical-dental), and there are no forms for patients to fill out.”

What is it that prevents Americans from embracing this kind of system? We hear voices saying we do not want to give up our freedoms. But what kind of freedom is this for those who cannot figure out how to get their medical care?

I do not hear people in Manitoba complaining about lost freedom. They shake their heads in disbelief about how complicated it is south of the border. And statistics show they have better health and greater longevity, as well as better overall satisfaction with their health care.

GEORGE DYCK

North Newton

Wrong direction

The late, great Paul Harvey was so prophetic. It is so eerily creepy what he said in a newspaper column from the 1960s titled “If I Were the Devil” that he also used as a radio commentary.

Our nation has become exactly what he said and more.

Not only have we been duped and given in to anything and everything that the great deceiver Satan has whispered in our ears, but we’ve also bought into anything and everything our own government and leaders of this once-great nation have said. It is so very sad to witness the wrong direction we are moving and this country is headed toward.

God help us and forgive us for giving in so easily.

JOHNNY QUICK

Wichita

Blind to risks?

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, claims the ingredients in genetically modified foods are safe (April 13 Opinion). There has not been enough research done to prove that human consumption of foods with pesticides and herbicides is harmless. High levels of glyphosate herbicide were found in the breast milk of American women. Are we blind enough to believe that high levels of herbicides in our bodies are safe?

Pompeo believes eliminating GM ingredients will make it more difficult for farmers. Bees, which we rely upon to pollinate our crops, are dying at unprecedented rates, with some linking the deaths directly to GM crops. Without pollination from bees, the farmers will have a difficult time feeding anyone.

If more than 60 countries have banned, restricted or labeled genetically modified foods, why not the United States? It is time to wake up and decide if the impact of GM foods is a risk you are willing to take.

MARY WEILERT

Wichita

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