Ethanol problems

Cindy Carusi asks in her letter to the editor “Hybrids and Ethanol” (BDN, April 15) why ethanol is being added to gasoline in spite of disadvantages including reduced gas mileage. She also states that the only reason is that “someone is making a buck.” Contrary to her opinion, that someone is not the oil companies.

Use of ethanol in gasoline was required by the federal government in the 1990s. Increased use of ethanol has been promoted by the biofuels industry, all the way from growers of corn through the powerful lobbying of big agribusiness, especially ADM and Cargill. MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether) was formerly considered to be the best oxygenate to satisfy reformulated fuel requirements. MTBE was withdrawn because of water pollution and alleged toxicity problems. Although a good octane number enhancer and supposedly beneficial to air pollution, ethanol has a lot of problems including absorption of water, engine and fuel system deterioration and reduced gas mileage.

Reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide and true costs in the use of ethanol gasoline continue to be hotly debated as ethanol fuels are significantly subsidized. This is a national issue, so unfortunately passage of LD 1320 will not solve anything unless alternative nonethanol gasoline is made available nationally. A niche Maine gasoline market is too small to happen on its own.

Bob Buntrock


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‘Right thing to do’

I appreciate the editorial “Marriage Turns a Corner” (BDN, April 9) for recognizing that separate is not equal. Denying committed couples the protections and status accorded by marriage — only because they are of the same-sex — is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

Our legislators must act to protect all Maine families — not because one day this will be law across the country, but because it is the right thing to do.

Melissa Ossanna

Bar Harbor

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Fliers boost economy

I read with interest the BDN’s April 8 article on the increase of passengers at Bangor International Airport and felt the need to add a little to the story.

As headmaster of Lee Academy, I am a frequent visitor to BIA. During my visits I have witnessed the significant number of travelers who are boarding students attending Washington Academy, George Stevens Academy, Foxcroft Academy, Lee Academy and Maine Central Institute. These students use flights at BIA a minimum of twice a year as most of the schools require their students to use BIA as their travel destination. Many students, however, travel to and from Bangor five to six times a year.

The number of boarding students at these schools has grown in recent years. Currently, Washington Academy has more than 100 dorm students, George Stevens Academy has 30, Foxcroft Academy has 50, Lee Academy has 90 and Maine Central Institute has 140. My mathematics shows that total to be more than 400 students, using the minimum of two trips per year, bringing the total to more than 800 visits annually at BIA, and most of these tickets cost more than $1,000.

As you can see, these students bring a significant economic impact to the local area in travel, let alone what they spend while they are living in Maine. This is just one example of how the independent schools of central Maine have added to the economic picture of the local area, and how they hopefully will help BIA continue to beat national downward trends in passenger numbers.

Bruce Lindberg


JoAnn Graffam

Director of Campaign & Major Gifts

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Resurrection is correct

I enjoyed the front page April 13 BDN article about the Easter sunrise service on Ragged Mountain. There was, however, one critical error. The article described Easter as the day Christians celebrate the “rebirth” of Jesus.

It is not a rebirth; it is the resurrection of Jesus that is celebrated. Rebirth and the Resurrection are two very different events. The foundation of the Christian faith is based upon the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, both bodily and spiritually, as is well documented in the Gospels, epistles and other writings.

Christianity does not subscribe to rebirth, but rather to salvation and continuation of life after death. That is the promise of the Resurrection and why it is so important not to portray it as a rebirth.

Dave Pier


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