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Letters: Jan. 1, 2013, Mandela, war on coal, climate reform

Mandela was a humanitarianEditor:Nelson Mandela is being chastised by Rush Limbaugh and his ilk. They say he was a revolutionary; that he protested against the English domination in Africa; apartheid; that he said the American government was against other people of the world; that he was courted by Russia and Cuba.Think about it. First he was thrown in prison for life for protesting, by white people. Russia and Cuba, who had no control over England, would seem like friends to him. President Reagan vetoed sanctions against apartheid. By the way, George Washington was a revolutionary against the English. What made Mandela special is that after all the atrocities against him he was forgiving and knew right from wrong when he got out of prison. He was a humanitarian.Limbaugh and his ilk want old English tyranny, a dynasty where the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. That allows complete domination. Could it also be that they don't like black leaders?Ken DutchessKennaWar on coal or war on coal miners? Editor:Even if you've had your head in the sand for the last five years, you have heard this term over and over again. Is there really a war on coal or is this just another way to muddy up the water before another election?Why did we never hear there was a war on the chemical industry right here in our backyard when those good paying jobs where being sent overseas? Why did we not hear about a war on the apparel manufacturing business when company after company closed down and all of those jobs where sent overseas? Some of these companies even set up shop in countries that still use child labor.Why did we never hear about a war on the U.S. appliance manufacturing business? Between 2010 and 2012 we lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs, which exceeds the rate of loss from 1929 to 1933. Never in U.S. history has this industry lost more jobs in one decade.
War? Is there really a war on coal, or is there war on the middle class? The middle class that made all of these companies fortunes, who in turn sent our jobs overseas. The real war is against coal miners, not coal. With black lung running rampant and benefits being taken away from retired miners, it's clear the war is with the miners.Wake up, coal lovers. Don't let those double taking politicians trick you into thinking they are going to do something for you.James Hackett
Red HousePlacing the blame for bad climate reform Editor:Thanks for Ken Ward's article summarizing topics discussed at the energy summit. Speakers rightly complained climate change regulations discourage business, target coal, and limit U.S. emissions without reducing international emissions. However, speakers wrongly blame President Obama.Fault belongs to Congress for refusing to acknowledge climate change is happening because they don't like the policy choices. Shame on Congress for denying the problem because they don't like the cures. Obama stepped into the breach by imposing regulations because climate change must be slowed. If people don't like regulations, they must push Congress to act on climate change. Please start pressuring Representatives David McKinley, Shelley Capito and Nick Rahall to act on climate change!A better policy choice is a carbon tax on all energy producers (regulations primarily target coal). Emissions worldwide would drop if Congress imposed U.S. carbon taxes on imports from countries without comparable taxes. Moreover, a carbon tax would encourage U.S. business because investors would feel secure that clean energy projects would be able to compete.
Congress could put a good spin on a carbon tax by rebating tax proceeds to constituents. Which voters would object to getting a rebate check for taxes paid by coal, oil and gas producers?Judy WeissCitizens Climate Lobby memberBrookline, Mass.
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