Auditor of State Dave Yost’s recent recommendation that the Ohio Department of Transportation eliminate its legislatively mandated use of biodiesel and switch back to 100 percent petroleum diesel to save money is shortsighted. It does not consider the many benefits biodiesel provides to Ohio.

In addition, we believe that an evaluation of biodiesel purchasing practices could yield more efficient purchasing and a reduction on the price differential.

While we agree that the state must enact cost-effective practices, the full range of biodiesel’s benefits — economic, energy security and environmental — more than make up for the minimal cost difference identified by the auditor.

Biodiesel creates hundreds of Ohio jobs on farms, production facilities and at fuel distributors. These are good, local jobs. In these tough economic times, can we afford to throw them away?

Something else that we can’t afford is compromising our energy security. Every gallon of biodiesel we use in Ohio displaces a gallon of petroleum.

If there is one thing we can all agree on today, surely it is the need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Every time we use biodiesel, we move closer to achieving that goal, while also keeping Ohio dollars in Ohio.

We cannot ignore biodiesel’s significant environmental benefits. After extensive review, the Environmental Protection Agency determined that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent as compared to petroleum diesel and decreases particulate matter — a serious health hazard — by 47 percent. It also reduces cancer-causing emissions by more than 80 percent compared to regular diesel.

Biodiesel also extends engine life by preventing premature wear and tear.

All of these factors must be taken into consideration in response to Yost’s recommendation, which is a short-term fix for long-term economic, energy security and environmental challenges.

Revising the state mandate would be counterproductive. Let’s maintain our commitment to a fuel that will take Ohio forward, not backward.

Bret Davis

President, Ohio Soybean Association

Delaware

A limit to parents’?responsibility

I am writing in response to the May 25 letter by David and Kathy Hoppe, “Questions for the parents.”

I was absolutely appalled by their comments about the accident involving 18-year-old Macy Mruk, who was seriously injured following an early morning crash. Mruk, it was found, was under the influence of alcohol apparently served to her at an area establishment.

The Hoppes’ comments were not only insensitive to the Mruks during this time of heightened stress and worry for their daughter, but also extremely judgmental.

My 21-year-old son is recovering from near-fatal injuries sustained in a fall in February, subsequent to drinking. Believe you me, as we were raising our son, he was subject to rules, curfews and consequences.

We did all we felt we could do to teach him how to live responsibly; however, he chose of his own volition to involve himself in activities that were not healthy. After five weeks in hospitals, he is still in therapy. He is doing great.

We do realize we all dodged a big bullet, yet our dear son, despite all the love, guidance and tough love provided him, acted of his own choosing to involve himself in unhealthy activities.

We are gaining insights into what led him away from the foundations we laid for him. The Hoppes are naive to think that they could possibly have 24/7 control over their kids. Most times, the best you can pray for is that children will, when faced with danger, apply what they have been taught.

I pray for Macy Mruk’s full recovery and support the concerns of her mother, Diana, about the idiot who did not card her daughter.

Margie Roop

Barberton

Don’t defund ?Planned Parenthood

May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. As an avid supporter of Planned Parenthood, I think that it is very important to recognize the numerous services that Planned Parenthood provides.

Planned Parenthood helps many young women make important decisions about their sexual health. It provides birth control to women who may have difficulty getting it due to their finances or simply because they do not know how to go about getting it. It also provides basic health care to women.

It is important to acknowledge the fact that Planned Parenthood plays a big part in the prevention of teen pregnancies. Sexual health is a very difficult topic for people to talk about, and Planned Parenthood opens the lines of communication and helps answer questions that a young, confused teenage woman may have.

It is crucial to women of all ages that Planned Parenthood is not defunded. The defunding of Planned Parenthood would mean less sexual education for women, which could result in less thought-out decisions.

Planned Parenthood saves taxpayers money. It allows people to plan their families instead of leaving it to chance.

In the long run, it is cheaper to provide health-care services to young women and allow them to make responsible decisions than it is to pay for public assistance.

This is why I oppose bills such as House Bill 298 and Senate Bill 201 that seek to defund Planned Parenthood.

Acacia Cook

Tallmadge

Romney, big capital?drive layoffs

I recently watched a Mitt Romney ad promising to lower the unemployment rate to 6 percent if he is elected president.

Then I thought about layoffs caused by Bain Capital and layoffs at large companies such as Hewlett-Packard.

It is the big companies that lay off employees, increasing the unemployment rate so much that the smaller companies cannot absorb the laid-off workers.

I’ve had enough of large companies. If there is a small company with similar products, even at a slight increase in price, that’s where I’ll go.

Romney hasn’t got the chance of a snowball in hell that I’d vote for him.

Bill Brown

Cuyahoga Falls

Picking and choosing?from the Bible

Often, people write to express their opinions about controversial subjects and insist upon using the Bible as the justification for their beliefs. On May 16, Lisa Ayers did just that in her letter in opposition to gay marriage (“Gay marriage and the Bible”).

She used verses from Leviticus 18. I also consider myself a Christian, but I do not subscribe to a literal interpretation of the Bible.

Yes, I have read the Bible many times, and I attend church weekly.

After reading Ayers’ letter, I must assume that she also feels that an adulterer and his adulteress must be put to death (Leviticus 20:10); that we should not eat certain animals like pigs (Leviticus 11); and that men and women are “unclean, along with everything they have touched,” after certain bodily functions for a period of seven to 14 days(Levitucus 15), among other prohibitions.

The Bible is full of wonderful, uplifting, inspirational stories that we can use to guide our daily lives, but I keep in mind that our lives today are nothing like the lives of the people who lived over 2,000 years ago.

If interpreting the Bible was so easy, then we wouldn’t have numerous religious denominations that all have a different take on what the Bible is telling us.

It’s a no-brainer that things such as killing or stealing are wrong because you are actually hurting another individual, but when we start telling adults who they can love and make a life with, I draw the line.

It’s not my business, nor do I feel it’s the government’s business, to dictate what two consenting adults do in their lives. It is between those individuals and God, and he will decide if our actions here on Earth make us worthy of living in his heavenly home.

So please, stop using cherry-picked Bible quotes to support your own personal views. You’re entitled to your opinions, but so are others, and they may not agree with you.

I do have one question for people who continue to pick and choose Bible quotes. When was the last time you purchased two turtledoves or two pigeons to take to a priest to be sacrificed?

After all, you wouldn’t want to disobey something written in the Bible, would you?

L.J. Frederick

Clinton

Compromisers needed

The remarks by Cleveland State University professor Ned Hill to the Akron Roundtable, quoted in a May 18 article (“Political compromise key to recovery, economist says”), should be required reading for every politician, from city hall to Columbus to Washington, D.C.

Until we compromise and learn to accept each other’s ideological differences, I don’t think we will come close to a full economic recovery.

Patrick Bozzelli

Cuyahoga Falls