As a concerned citizen and doctor of internal medicine, I am very dismayed that the landmark clean energy legislation enacted in 2008 is under attack.
This legislation created a state plan for renewable energy and energy efficiency, requiring Ohio’s electric utilities to generate 12.5 percent of electricity sales from renewable energy sources such as wind, biomass and solar.
Under the law, the utility companies must also enact energy efficiency programs to reduce energy consumption to 22 percent of current levels by 2025.
For every $1 invested in energy efficiency, Ohioans save $3 on their utility bills.
Not only will Ohio ratepayers save money, but Ohio will see manufacturing jobs created in the clean energy industry which already employs over 25,000 workers.
Since the legislation was passed, Ohio has begun to rebalance its energy portfolio toward renewable energy and energy efficiency and away from fossil fuels, especially coal, which is where we currently get most of our energy.
Burning coal creates worsening air pollution which affects us all. It contributes to heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks (especially in children), lung cancer and exacerbations of emphysema and bronchitis
In fact, I know that when we have an air pollution alert day, as sometimes occurs on hot summer days, our clinic will have many more patients with acute breathing problems than usual.
Reducing the amount of coal burned for electricity also reduces the smog-forming pollutants nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury, which is especially toxic to pregnant women and children and contributes to birth defects.
I would strongly encourage Gov Kasich and Ohio lawmakers not to roll back our state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.
This will hurt our economy, our pocketbooks and our health.
An anarchist and a criminal
I believe that the decision to invite Bill Ayers to the recent May 4 memorial service was a disservice to Kent State University, the student body, the alumni and the community.
Ayers was an anarchist and criminal, who set off bombs in government buildings, including the Pentagon. He only escaped a long prison term because of a technicality. Even he was astounded when he was acquitted.
He boasts that he never killed anyone; he just blew up property. He would have killed someone eventually, had he not been caught. His girlfriend blew herself up preparing a nail bomb to set off at a dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
Many Ohio sons, brothers, fathers, uncles, husbands and friends went through Fort Dix preparing for Vietnam. Ayers and company were definitely willing to kill and maim anyone to impose their agenda on the rest of the people.
To the extremists of yesterday, such as Ayers, and the extremists of today, such as the Boston Marathon bombers, the ends justifies the means. There is no difference.
Teachers out for themselves
When the weather was nice, many Strongsville teachers marched on strike for the betterment of the students. When the weather turned bad, far fewer marched for the betterment of the schools and students.
When the school board made its final offer, teachers stood fast and stayed out for the betterment of the students.
When the school board found additional money and increased its offer, union officials and teachers stayed out for the students.
When they were hit with the reality of what health insurance was going to cost per month, they went back to work again, for the students.
Reality must have hit hard when they sought support on Twitter, Facebook, the Web and from other teacher unions and got nothing in return.
I bet all the students now feel like they were pawns, an excuse for the teachers holding out just for their own good. Students missed classes, important tests and eight weeks of a senior year that they will never get back, and it was all for their good.
Taking stock of more revenue
All the fuss and fury over the issue of taxation calls for a new form of raising revenue that could be acceptable to both Democrats and Republicans. Such a plan has been described in past issues of Public Citizen and Hightower’s Lowdown, both reflecting progressive ideas for good government.
This method of raising revenue seems fair, easy to collect, broad based and with a low rate of about 0.2 percent. It would levy a tax on every daily share transaction of stock on the New York and Nasdaq exchanges. The huge number of shares, in the millions, traded every day, ensures a very broad base, and consequently allows a very low tax rate.
Because all transactions are described and recorded on every client’s monthly statement, collection of the tax should be easy. Some degree of fairness would be provided because the tax would fall primarily on those best able to pay.
Adoption of such a plan would not absolve Congress and President Obama from making reasonable and well-chosen cuts in federal spending.
Henry Robert Menapace
It is easy for those who idolize the ownership of guns as a “sacred right” to interpret the Second Amendment to allow unrestricted access to any weapon of any size.
Those who would oppose such foolishness are painted as un-American, naïve, uneducated, or the like.
Statistics about the comparative safety of guns are touted out of context and in ignorance of the value of human life.
While many of us thought the death of 20 elementary children on a single day would awaken our leaders to the absurdity of gun love, it seems we were wrong.
The problem with idols, of course, is that people who follow them don’t realize it until it is too late.