Nukes are mistake
I disagree with the June 26 BDN OpEd, “Nuclear power is the answer to our energy needs.” Nuclear fission power is not a solution.
The nation needs an alternative to the fossil fuels that pollute our planet and also take money out of this country enriching other nations and big corporations. Though we need to end our dependence on oil, relying on nuclear power simply is repeating the mistakes of the past.
Nuclear power creates waste far more toxic than carbon dioxide. Nuclear waste could be used by terrorists to create nuclear weapons, and uranium will run out just as inevitably as oil.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a terrible disaster. Imagine a disaster on that scale involving a nuclear power plant. The 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine caused a cloud of radioactive particles to be blown thousands of feet high and hundreds of miles away. A report by a forum convened by the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2005 predicted that 4,000 people who were exposed to Chernobyl’s fallout will die of cancer.
Instead of building nuclear power plants using government subsidies such as the Price-Anderson Act that we will regret later, we should be focusing on developing truly green alternatives to oil. We should be developing technologies such as wind, solar and even nuclear fusion, a power source that combines hydrogen atoms together to create enormous amounts of energy and no toxic waste.
Enforce the law
Concerning a recent letter to the editor in which the writer complained about Harleys equipped with straight pipes: Years ago, I was stopped by a cop while riding my Honda because a defect in the muffler made it louder than normal. However, that noise was nothing compared to that caused by straight pipes.
Discrimination? Nothing against Harleys, which are great bikes. However, when these bikes come out of the factory, they are equipped with mufflers so they can be street legal. For some people, however, this is not good enough.
Whether the practice of replacing mufflers with straight pipes is against the law, I personally do not know, but if it is, that law is not being enforced.
Whoopie price hike
Am I alone in being shocked at a 60 percent increase in cost over a one-year period?
Last year we attended the first Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, and we loved it. For 12 months we talked about it with enthusiasm and anticipation. In the course of promoting this event, those in charge failed to mention one small, but significant, detail: a price increase of 60 percent.
In 2009, $5 provided an individual with both admission and 10 samples of whoopie pies that one acquired by exchanging Popsicle sticks for yummy morsels. These 10 sticks were included in the price of admission to the festival. One even had the ability to exchange three Popsicle sticks for a theater ticket. What a deal!
This year, the $6 admission included a grand total of zero samples; one was required to purchase festival tokens that would be exchanged for whoopie pie samples. To indulge in 10 tastings as provided by the $5 admission in 2009, a $2 investment was necessary bringing the overall cost to $8 which represents an escalation of 60 percent.
We loved the festival last year, and the samples we enjoyed were delicious this year. I, however, think that $8 to maybe eat a whoopie pie and a half is rather unreasonable. Is that why the public wasn’t informed of the change in price? I suppose next year the admission will be $12.80. Do the math.
End the uncertainty
Maine has an opportunity to be a leader in the development of clean energy, but to achieve our full potential we need Congress to pass climate and clean energy legislation.
Maine companies and policy-makers are taking many of the right steps to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but there is a limit on how far we can go without a clear road map adopted at the federal level. Right now there is too much uncertainty about when the nation will put a price on carbon pollution. Uncertainty is the enemy of private sector investments into clean energy.
Other nations are moving ahead rapidly to capture the clean energy jobs of the future, which is why it is so important for Congress to pass a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill this year. By some estimates, such a bill could result in millions of jobs across the country.
Maine Sens. Snowe and Collins understand that climate change and our dependence on fossil fuels are serious problems. They are well-positioned to help shape a strong, bipartisan climate and clean energy bill that will be good for Maine and the nation. But they need to act now. The longer Congress takes to act, the further behind we will be in our efforts to achieve energy independence.
Milton O. McBreairty