Wind is cleaner, cheaper than coal
Regarding “EPA, wind powering electric-rate increases” (March 24 Opinion):
• Coal is the dirtiest fuel used for electricity generation. More than 30,000 U.S. deaths per year are attributed to diseases related to coal mining, transport and burning.
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• Unless we require by regulation that all electrical energy producers pay the full system costs – including health, mining and waste ash cleanup – we are subsidizing the coal industry.
• The full costs of health and environmental problems related to coal mining, transport, burning and ash disposal total more than 3 cents per kilowatt-hour. That amount is 50 percent greater than the 2.1 cents-per-kwh production tax credit, which is allowed for wind and will expire unless Congress acts soon.
• Coal advocates continue to perpetuate the myth that the lights will go out if the wind doesn’t blow. Natural-gas supplies are adequate to serve as wind backup for decades, providing time to develop fully sustainable energy storage.
• The “clean coal” slogan touted in coal-company ads is false. Wind is absolutely clean, and wind backed by natural gas is much cleaner than coal. The wind and natural-gas turbine combination is less expensive than coal when all costs are considered.
Happy for Hawker
I am so happy that Hawker Beechcraft decided not to close down its Plant 1 (March 16 Eagle).
When I first learned that Hawker was planning to close down the plant, I was very sad. I have many family members and friends who work there. Thinking of them losing their jobs and having to find new work was terrible. With the economy the way it is, there was little chance they would be able to find jobs as good as those at Hawker. Many probably would have had to move to another city to find work.
Closing the plant would have damaged not only those who worked there and their families but the rest of Wichita. Needless to say, this is very good news. I am so glad Hawker Beechcraft came to its senses.
No law enforcement organization, federal or state, currently has a warrant for the arrest of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. But the New Black Panther Party, which has no law enforcement authority, has offered a bounty and deputized a vigilante mob of thousands to find and kidnap him.
Movie director Spike Lee, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are out there fanning the flames of this vigilante mob.
I ask President Obama, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and all the various news media organizations: When will the adults in authority call for restoring the rule of law and order to this vigilante environment?
So far, their silence has been deafening.
Save lives, money
I believe that a “safety corridor” on Kellogg would be a great way to reduce wrecks on the highway and, in turn, reduce the number of injuries and deaths (Feb. 27 Eagle).
Though many people would find the idea of increased tickets and other punishments in these safety corridors frustrating, especially in this economy, they have the potential to make roads a lot safer for everyone. It may seem unfair to make people pay more for speeding. But compared with the lives that could be saved, the cost really is minimal. Besides, more people probably would follow road laws, which would result in fewer tickets and less money wasted on these tickets.
If this law is effective, it also would mean fewer wrecks, and not just the fatal ones. This could reduce insurance rates and road-repair costs, which would save money for everyone. This law has the potential to help everyone.
Welcomed at Purdue
Regarding “Welcomed at WSU” (March 24 Letters to the Editor), about Wichita State University’s courteous treatment of Purdue University: Purdue is also remarkably welcoming. I attended a WSU-Purdue basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., in the late 1980s. Before the game, the Purdue pep band did something I’ve not seen before or since: It came onto the floor and played WSU’s fight song. It was an amazing gesture. It’s too bad that more schools don’t do that.
When Purdue Pete came and sat next to us, because my friend and I were making so much noise for WSU, I told him that it was very impressive that the band played our fight song and that all the spectators even wore the Shockers’ colors: black and gold. He seemed dismayed. (Those also are Purdue’s colors.) It was great fun – which is what athletic contests should be.
LARRY W. CRACRAFT