Renewable energies needed
To the editor:
This newspaper has on many occasions taken a stand against subsidies for solar and wind energy, two renewable energies that I feel very much need to be a part of our state and this country's energy portfolio. As a longtime advocate for these renewable energies, I feel that diversification of energy production is needed if this country is to ever achieve energy independence, and I believe that renewables will have to be an ever-growing larger part of our energy production.
Most often the first thing out of someone's mouth when you mention solar energy is Solyndra, the California solar power company that went bankrupt after getting huge federal subsidies. Yes, Solyndra was a big disaster. But, that does not mean we should kill the solar industry because of one mistake.
One of the beautiful things about solar energy is distributed generation. You can build a solar energy system close to where you need the energy. You don't have to build huge systems far from the consumer and spend vast amounts on transmission of the electricity. You can put solar panels on houses, in a neighborhood, or at the edge of town. It may interest readers to learn one fact about wind energy; the state of Iowa now gets 25 percent of their total electricity needs from wind energy.
Senate Bill 221 is a bill that was passed in 2008 by the Ohio Legislature with overwhelming bi-partisan support and established Ohio's renewable portfolio standard (RPS). This law is now under attack in the form of SB 58, and a companion bill, HB 302, because some folks object to legislative mandates for increased energy efficiency and public support of renewable energy. In a recent Crain's Cleveland Business blog, Professor William Bowen from Cleveland State University offered three reasons to keep SB 221 intact. The first is that it levels the playing field for renewables with fossil fuels. Many talk about electricity coming from coal generation being the cheapest form of electricity. This is very true, but a big reason for it being cheaper is that the responsibility for paying for the pollution, and other associated costs with coal-fired electric generating plants, falls to the taxpayers and not to the producers. If these associated costs were tacked onto the cost of the electricity, as it should be, then the cost of the electricity would be higher than that produced by renewables.
A couple of examples of the problems associated with coal-fired electricity generating plants are the fish consumption advisory for all surface bodies of water in Ohio because of mercury, the vast majority of which comes from these plants. Also, mercury is a known neuro-toxin. Much research on the huge increases in autism in this country points to environmental factors, such as mercury, as a leading cause.
The second reason is that the fossil fuel industries in this country already get huge subsidies and tax breaks from the federal government. The Production Tax Credits for wind and the state's RPS help to further level the playing field with fossil fuels. Professor Bowen says that these subsidies and tax breaks "give established utilities an unfair market advantage."
The third reason is that utilities will likely under-invest in renewables without our RPS being in place and this would have a negative impact on society and the environment in the form of dirtier air and other environmental problems.
In recent years the renewable energy industry has been one of the fastest growing segments of the economy in our state because of the RPS. A great example of this is the recently announced project of a 2 megawatt solar array at the Toledo Zoo. It will provide 30 percent of the zoo's electric needs from the array built on a 22 acre brownfield site. Calyxo solar modules will be used, which use innovative thin film technology developed in Toledo. Nextronics Inc. of Toledo will provide the inverters, combiner boxes, and the distributed architecture for the solar array. Alex Products of Ridgeville Corners, Ohio, is supplying the steel racks for the solar modules. These are all Ohio companies providing jobs for Ohioans.
I am a life member of the Izaak Walton League of America, one of the country's oldest green groups, made up of hunters and anglers. At their National Convention this past summer they passed a resolution which calls for expanding renewable energy production and research, and set a goal of 100 percent of the world's energy production from renewable energy sources. The resolution did not set a timeframe for this to happen, but many believe that it can be done by 2030-2050 using existing technologies.
Walmart is a good example for the skeptics. Walmart is already America's largest onsite green power generator and is rapidly working towards its goal of operating on 100 percent renewable energy. It's good for their bottom line.
Many folks agree that renewable energy is the future, but I say that the future needs to be now. We can create good jobs from renewables that will stay in this country, we can keep electricity prices low, and we can protect the environment by steering a course toward renewable energy. Fossil fuels will be part of our overall energy production for a long time, but by embracing the future we can protect our remaining wild lands and oceans from expanded fossil fuel production and still have a bright future for our country.
Praises West Branch program
To the editor:
To all who helped make the West Branch High School Veterans Day program so meaningful:
On Monday, Nov. 11, my husband and I attended the Veterans Day program at the high school. It took us back in time, many years, when our country was truly free and we could proudly salute the flag and bow our heads in prayer. It brought tears to our eyes and joy to our hearts. As older folks, we hope the same program will continue for many years as it is exactly what we can relate to.
The little gal (Audrey Nolte) who sang "God Bless America" rocked the auditorium. She sang from her heart and it was definitely felt by all. The band was superb and Mrs. Biery really out did herself with the fabulous display of pictures.
The students were so well disciplined and the rendition of "Amazing Grace" by The Young and Alive group, make us even more thankful we could be there. Of course, Ms. Weingart and her crew went all out with decorations and a delicious breakfast.
Everything was perfect in every way and we will have fond memories for months to come.
Our heartfelt thanks to all who participated in the most memorable days we've had in a long time.
God bless you all.
BOB and NANCY COFFEE,
Remember to give thanks
To the editor:
The day is soon to come when we celebrate the day we know as Thanksgiving. That used to be a season when we took time to give thanks for our many blessings. It was a holiday of reverence. Stores closed, and people went to church the night before Thanksgiving Day, hymns were sung and we all knew them by heart. It was a time we took time to remember why and how we happened to be here.
We all knew the story of the pilgrim landing on Plymouth and the struggle they had to survive in the wilderness and how the Indian people showed the Pilgrims how to plant crops and get through that first winter that was so harsh. Many of the pilgrims perished due to disease and the cold.
And so it is time to return to this holiday - to give it its due - to give thanks to those who came before us. It is the reason we are able to gather together with friends and family. A time to pass on the hymns and feelings that are so meaningful to this day. It is a time to give thanks for our many blessings and what we have, be it great or small, thankful to be of service to others. We have so much more than any other country in the world.
Please take time to recognize this holiday as it should be remembered, and to thank those in the armed service who protect our shores and our freedoms. Let us extend our hand to our fellowmen in love and good faith. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Grateful for the coverage
To the editor:
The Reilly Project would not be complete without thanking two important people who contributed so much to the success of our project. They are Salem News editor J.D. Creer, who gave us incredible coverage of all the different classes, groups, organizations and individuals whom invested their time and or money into the Reilly Project. And to Mary Ann Greier, Salem News reporter, with all of her well-written, outstanding articles and pictures about the Reilly Project, which kept the public well-informed of our progress.
Our heartfelt thanks to both of them for giving the Salem Preservation Society the great publicity that was necessary to keep our project moving forward. It would have been difficult to complete this project without their time and help.
Salem Preservation Society
Karen L. Carter
Republic or dictatorship?
To the editor:
According to the Un-Affordable Care act, Federal Register 7348, the Minimum Essential Coverage Provisions for health care were to take effect in January.
November 15, Presidente Obama stated, "Insurers can extend current plans that otherwise would be canceled into 2014 and Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan."
Article I Section 1of the U.S. Constitution states "all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in the Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
Funny, there is no mention of the president making or changing laws. This is known as the separation of powers, the foundation principle of our system of government that all of us, with the obvious exception of the Constitutional scholar Barack Obama, learned about in junior high school. Oh that's right, Obama attended school in Indonesia thus missing that lesson.
America isn't supposed to be a dictatorship thus Obama hasn't the authority to pass and repeal laws at will. Writing about Obama's decision to let insurers temporarily reissue certain policies cancelled due to the Affordable Care Act, The Washington Post stated that the President "changed one of the bedrock requirements of the new health-care law to fulfill his promise to allow people to keep their insurance plans if they want."
Imagine, the Post did not even question Obama's authority to do this, but according to Northwestern University law professor Eugene Kontorovich, the president has no constitutional authority to rewrite statutes, only Congress has the power to pass and repeal legislation. For a bill to become law, or for a law to be repealed, legislation must first pass both Houses of Congress."
To affirm that this is the most lawless administration since F.D.R., let us look back at a few highlights. Obama announced the delayed enforcement of Obamacare's employer mandate. Nothing in Obamacare authorizes Obama to do this, in fact the statute very clearly says that the employer mandate must take effect after Dec. 31, 2013.
While the administration will not divulge an exact figure, at least 1500 companies and organizations, over half of whom are unions, have been granted an exemption from Obamacare. Has Obama, the Constitutional scholar, not heard of the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." This means in layman's terms that the law applies to everyone equally, except when you are a friend of Obama you can get a pass.
Obamacare contains 700 references to the secretary "shall," 200 to the secretary "may," and 139 to the secretary "determines" and they have already added 12,000 pages of regulations to the original 2,700. It isn't a law, it is a framework of tyranny. Once again Obama bypasses the Constitution by signing into law a system that empowers unelected bureaucrats to arbitrarily create rules that have the force of government behind them. Only Congress has the Constitutional power to create laws, not Kathleen Sebelius.
The Obama administration used taxpayer money to facilitate the smuggling by Mexican gangsters of over 2000 firearms into Mexico. The Mexican Attorney General confirmed 200 murders happened as a direct result of "Fast and Furious," the operation's title. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was one of those killed by a Fast and Furious gun. Attorney General Eric Holder is being held in contempt of Congress because of his involvement in this issue. And the coup de gras, documents obtained by CBS News show that the administration planned to use their covert operation "Fast and Furious" to argue for a controversial new 2nd Amendment crackdown. To recap, the administration allowed guns to be transported to criminals in Mexico so that they could subsequently claim that more gun control is needed to stop guns from falling into the criminal's hands.
The Constitution gives the president the power to appoint officials to fill vacancies when the Senate isn't in session. In 2012, Obama made such "recess appointments" even though the Senate had stayed in session precisely to keep him from doing so.
Obama directed immigration agencies not to deport some illegal immigrants who were brought to America as children, effectively implementing much of the "Dream Act" that Congress has repeatedly voted down.
Obama directed his Justice Department not to enforce the "Defense of Marriage Act because he didn't like it.
Obama, again in violation of the law, directed the Department of Health and Human Services to alter welfare work requirements that have been in place since President Clinton signed them into law.
The administration, using EPA regulations, has unilaterally instituted "Cap and Trade" emission regulations even though the evidence backing this theory has been proven to be a hoax, 32,000 scientists have signed a strongly worded petition repudiating man-made global warming, and Congress has rejected legislation supporting these restrictions.
Nations and societies can be differentiated into two broad categories, either "rule of law" governments or "rule of men" dictatorships. The former, protects individuals from government enslavement by providing a solid foundation of rules which define governing. History has proven that without this adherence to a concrete structure where the law is preeminent, a nation will ultimately slide into tyranny.
Arbitrary application of laws allows the powerful to pick winners and losers based on allegiance. In America, we supposedly have "equal protection under the law". What the Administration has perpetrated is a reflection of the broader problem that has infested our society. ]The government picks and chooses what laws they enforce and on whom they enforce them. The law must apply to everyone equally for the vision of our Founding Fathers to be honored. No official has the legal purview to decide differently, not even the President.
The President should be held to the highest standard with regards to upholding our laws, our principles and our traditions. He should be "the" example of the kind of citizen every American should aspire to be.
When he abandons this responsibility it is time for him to return to Chicago where corrupt government is condoned. Impeachable offenses include treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. A case can be made that Obama has committed all of these.