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Thursday, July 17, 2014: Eliot Cutler, abortion, Canadian oil sands, Maine bear

Election draw

Independent candidate Eliot Cutler knows he has no chance to win the gubernatorial election, yet continues to run. Can he have such blind ambition, or might he have some other agenda that would induce him to steal votes and hand the election to Gov. Paul LePage again?

If Cutler sincerely cares about the people of Maine, he will withdraw and endorse Democratic candidate Mike Michaud. Alternatively, he should somehow find the courage to exhibit the ethical fortitude and self-respect simply to withdraw or withdraw and endorse whichever candidate he truly supports.

Tom Rusk


Refreshing letter

It was refreshing to have Joe Bertolaccini state the plain, flat-out truth in his July 11 BDN letter to the editor: Abortion not only is murder, it is premeditated murder.

Art Thomas



Social programs

President Franklin D. Roosevelt created Social Security in the middle of the Great
Depression. One of the reasons he did so was to create jobs for younger folks. The elderly did not quit their jobs and move to a retirement community back in those days. Hence, Social Security was a job-creating thing.

However, those who try to live on Social Security today are in the poverty zone. The program has flip-flopped on them, but the third of the month is gravy day for Maine. Maine has the highest number of older adults per capita. For those who can, they quit Maine. They are trying out southern states, with heating costs being a big factor in their decision to move. Their gain can be $1,000 to $3,000 for living expenses by not buying fuel for heat. It’s a simple solution that does not require a graduate degree to figure out.

Maine has its head in the sand regarding heating costs. Wind power and solar power are not going to cut the mustard. Maine investors and farmers, however, can create thousands of jobs. Invest in growing Maine’s own energy product and produce a heating element that is highly competitive with the oil and gas industry.

For the last couple of decades, universities in New York have been experimenting with growing willow trees to be used as a pellet fuel. The willow can grow 30 feet in three years. Farms can produce a crop in one year, but the three-year cycle is the most efficient. As a fuel, the pellets are carbon neutral.

Robert Fournier


No in November

The proponents of a ballot measure that would ban the three most effective methods of controlling Maine’s bear population recently released a video stating the opponents of the measure had a new celebrity spokesperson.

As the campaign manager, I just want to make sure the record is clear. We have not announced any new spokesperson for the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council or the no on Question 1 campaign. The response from that celebrity was solicited directly by the Bangor Daily News and had nothing to do with our campaign. In fact, our primary spokespeople have remained the same for more than 10 months. Our spokespeople are real Maine people who represent thousands of other Maine people whose livelihoods depend on the defeat of Question 1.

Unlike the proponents of this measure, our money is being raised locally in an effort to protect thousands of Maine jobs and a nationally recognized wildlife management program at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

We will continue to support Maine’s scientific wildlife management programs and Maine people. We urge the public to vote no on Question 1 this November.

James Cote

Campaign manager



Gubernatorial date

Here’s an idea to help out with the election for the governor of Maine: independent Eliot Cutler and Democrat Mike Michaud agree on a polling organization and a date upon which the trailing candidate drops out. Lest Gov. Paul LePage feel this is unfair, he can also offer to join in and drop out, if he trails on said date.

Ronald Shelden

Bass Harbor

Boycotting city

I am an Alberta Canadian. Since South Portland is boycotting oil sands oil, I am boycotting South Portland. Treating Canada, a friend and ally, like trash is to be expected with all the “Hollywood environmentalists” running around. If these armchair experts use fossil fuel, they are part of the problem. Here’s a reality check. What percentage of world emissions does Canada produce, and what part of this blip in the rates comes from the oil sands? Look it up.

Ralph Jacobs

Lethbridge, Alberta

Tar sands facts

I appreciate the opportunity to provide facts about the Canadian oil sands, following July 9 story “After overcrowding problem Monday, South Portland secures a bigger venue for latest vote on tar sands ordinance.”

The story states, “Environmentalists have proclaimed the toxic, corrosive oil being harvested from the sands of Alberta to be three times more likely to wear down aging pipelines and leak than the more traditional crude.”

The facts show something different.

IHS CERA’s latest research shows Canadian oil sands are within the same range as nearly half of all oils refined in the United States and less greenhouse gas intensive than oil produced in Venezuela and California.

Independent scientific studies show diluted bitumen is no different than other heavy oils. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has highlighted the following:

— There is no evidence of chemical or physical properties of diluted bitumen outside
the range of other crude oils.

— After diluting to help these heavy oils flow through a pipeline, this is a stable and fully mixed product with density and viscosity levels in the range of other crude oils transported by pipeline in the United States.

There is no evidence of unique or extreme properties that make diluted bitumen shipments more likely to cause internal corrosion or erosion.

TransCanada safely operates oil, natural gas and power infrastructure with a deep commitment to safety and respect for the environment and biodiversity. This includes our operations in the U.S. Northeast, where we provide power to more than 200 towns and cities.

Davis Sheremata, TransCanada

Calgary, Alberta

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