There have been lots of articles that refer to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It is the agency that approves or denies new oil and gas pipelines. But is it really a government agency?

The FERC is housed within the Department of Energy, but the chair of the commission does not report to the secretary of that government department. The FERC budget of about $400 million comes from the oil and gas industry it is charged with regulating.

Those of us who will potentially be affected by the Nexus pipeline on our properties are definitely questioning the ability of this agency to give Nexus the right to exercise eminent domain.

Anyone or anything within about 1,500 feet of the gas line will suffer severe damage or annihilation if there is a leak. In some places, the proposed pipeline will be within 300 feet of houses, barns, parks, watersheds and protected animal species.

The Environmental Protection Agency also seems asleep at the switch, with few objections to the proposed route.

The Nexus partner, Spectra Energy, recently combined with Enbridge, a Canadian company, which raises questions about the legality of eminent domain.

Our neighbors to the south have lost the battle against the Rover pipeline, which the FERC approved. Please help us fight the Nexus pipeline by calling your member of Congress to object to a pipeline that is not needed for our communities, will create significant health and safety issues and will not bring substantial financial resources to Ohio.

Urge Congress to do a full investigation of the FERC before the appointment of new commissioners.

Louise Kuhns Harvey

Montville Township

Make states ?think twice

Robert Samuelson’s March 20 commentary “Make Medicaid Great” contains one of his best ideas ever.

States would have to think twice about cutting funding to Planned Parenthood and like-minded nonprofit groups if the states were totally responsible for Medicaid-funded births.

Medicaid-funded births are a growing cost to taxpayers. Today, about one-half of all births in this country are paid for by Medicaid.

John Royer

Norton

At odds with ?national security

Steve Bannon is a dangerous, right-wing extremist. He was executive chairman of Breitbart News, a website for the “alt-right” movement that published inflammatory pieces about women, Muslims and other groups.

Donald Trump has given him a seat on the National Security Council, the most powerful table in the world. The NSC should include the president’s most senior military, diplomatic and intelligence advisers. Yet Bannon has been appointed to the inner circle, while the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence attend on an “as needed basis.”

Thankfully, Congress can stop this. Congress created the NSC, and last year passed legislation regulating it. Now, House Resolution 140 seeks to protect the NSC’s integrity. It condemns the permanent position of Bannon, urges Trump to remove him immediately and urges Congress to expend any necessary resources to protect our national security and remove Bannon.

Those concerned about protecting our national security from political meddling should urge Congress to support H.R. 140.

The Rev. Steve Gehlert

Cuyahoga Falls

Ohio cyclists ?get protection

As an avid cyclist and a member of the Akron Bike Club, I applaud the state of Ohio for enacting the statewide, three-feet law for cars when passing bike riders.

This will no doubt lessen accidents and save lives.

Barry Friedman

Hudson