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Friday, July 5, 2013: Fracking, LePage’s behavior and freedom of speech


Augusta brawl

Thank you to Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, for his June 27 BDN OpEd piece. As a long-time moderator of small-town annual meetings, I have often thought about what would happen if residents were allowed, by the moderator, to hurl personal, Gov. Paul LePage-type insults toward other residents. I have no question that the town meeting would quickly descend into a brawl.

Jake Morrel


Fracking support

The fracking protesters in Fairfield confuse me. Unless they want the world to revert to a completely agrarian society, fracking for natural gas at least is the best thing for the world environment in years. It can heat homes, generate electricity and power cars cleanly. We can produce so much natural gas through fracking. We could export it, replacing dirty fuels in other parts of the world. Natural gas is clean burning, buys us time and helps make us energy independent. What else is there? Solar?

The only way we could utilize panels big enough, even if we sucked every BTU/milliwatt per square meter out of the sun’s rays, is to put them in space (or doom thousands of acres of land to perpetual shade), and we don’t even support a space shuttle program anymore. As for hydroelectric, a wonderful clean source of renewable power, it seems popular opinion is we can’t get them torn down fast enough.

Nuclear, nix to that. Ethanol takes more energy to produce than we get out of it. Coal, environmentally worst of the mix. Wind, maybe a supplement, but people who live near the windmills whine about them, too. And even if we did go “agrarian,” the rest of the world would not follow. We can see how concerned the Chinese are about the environment, given the air quality in their cities. Unless we all want to give up cars, planes, trains and residential electricity, fracking does far more good than bad.

Randy Day


Gubernatorial behavior

However gentle the BDN attempts to defang Gov. Paul LePage’s words or remove their painful bite, scars and shock are left behind on their victim(s). Mainers, generally tolerant about most LePage outbursts, are still reeling from the recent spew aimed at Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash. Like the scatter of buckshot, the governor’s words laid waste to Jackson: His logging occupation, his inability or intelligence to represent his constituents in legislative tasks. He sadly even took a jab at Jackson’s morality.

The only thing not criticized of the Allagash senator was his necktie color. Each new day in June was almost nightmarish. No doubt voters will eventually forget those bombastic words, but no one will or should forget their destructive intent. The governor’s ideological convictions may have been lofty in motivation but they failed and stumbled on that liberating word: truth. Any political “mullings” LePage may be doing for Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s vacated congressional seat will have to be decided and based on how Maine voters have come to know LePage — as a Republican statesman or as … words fail me.

Indeed, only in our language can we express or explain our pain, needs and desires. What letter grade for this gubernatorial behavior? In hindsight, will LePage ever have to say, “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody” as ex-boxer Terry laments in the movie “On the Waterfront”?

Elizabeth Jalbert Pecoraro

Fort Kent

In support of LD 1181

Good politicians and good parents have something in common. They take the long view. They are motivated by potential. This means thinking about the effects something will have in the present and in the future. This means remembering that the dramas of the day will likely be less theatrical tomorrow. This means acting with the knowledge that there is an oak tree inside of each acorn.

As a mother of two beautiful Maine children, I am brimming with gratitude for all of the Democratic and Republican legislators who voted in support of LD 1181. Sponsored by Sen. Seth Goodall, LD 1181, An Act to Further Strengthen the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals, will require that the largest food manufacturers report their use of BPA in cans and jars. This chemical, as I stated in my OpEd on May 7, is a potent developmental toxicant. BPA does not belong in our children’s bodies.

Robin Barstow


Earth’s natural cycles

On the Fourth of July we realized what a wonderful country we live in. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects our right to freedom of expression from government interference and banning speech because it does not agree with the message.

Climate change is scientifically connected to variations in the sun’s radiation, variations in the earth’s orbit, variations of the earth-moon-sun gravitational and electromagnetic field, and human activity. David Dilley of Global Weather Oscillations Inc. is a nationally known speaker on the “Earth’s Natural Climate Pulse,” and he summers in Maine. He was asked to speak at the Eagle Hill Institute’s community lecture series and was placed on the schedule one month prior to the event on June 29.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Our days prior to the lecture, his talk was abruptly canceled. The director indicated his lecture was canceled because a couple members of the board suddenly realized “they may be uncomfortable hearing about Earth’s natural cycles.”

People in Maine should not be kept in the dark about the Earth’s natural cycles; this is one of many reasons why the U.S. Constitution was written.

Priscilla Dilley


The 38 percent

When it comes to the political process, the math doesn’t seem to add up to benefit the majority.

A person can become elected governor by a mere 38 percent of the vote. That same person can veto bills passed by the majority of a legislative body made up of 35 senators and 151 representatives.

Yet, it takes a two-thirds vote by the Legislature to override a gubernatorial veto.

Interesting math of checks and balances.

Sharon Fields


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