I believe responsible energy reforms are vital to economic growth and energy independence for America, and I support an everything-on-the-table approach to accomplish these goals.

But I cannot support energy reforms that penalize manufacturers and businesses for producing the goods and services Americans need. Nor do I support any reforms that would increase energy costs for American families.

With national unemployment as high as it is, imposing energy reforms that would increase costs to American families and businesses is reckless.

Higher energy costs would undermine efforts small businesses are making to pull our nation out of this recession and would further burden American families already struggling to get by.

Do we, as a nation, need to explore alternative energy to power our communities? Absolutely. Should we be searching for ways to become energy-independent from countries hostile to our way of life? No question.

What we cannot afford, however, are new laws and regulations that would raise the price of staying warm in the winter or driving to work each day.

I urge lawmakers in Washington, and in Maine, to be mindful of the economic realities we face during these challenging times, and to oppose any legislation or rule-making that would raise energy costs.

We should find ways to empower Americans to keep more of their hard-earned wages. Higher energy costs will only make matters worse.

William D. Hamill

Yarmouth

 

 

I strongly encourage all concerned citizens to support the current bill making its way through Congress known as the American Power Act.

Introduced by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., this bill represents the next logical step in helping to reduce our national dependence on oil as well as implementing both comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation.

Although personal choice remains one of the best individual options in bringing about change in regard to these issues, history has shown us that legislation tends to produce better results at the corporate level.

Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins would be well advised to support these changes and help to keep Maine in the forefront of environmental and economic policy. It wouldn’t hurt to remind them of that if people happen to get in touch with them.

Dean Rock

South Portland

 

 

I first became aware of oil sands while watching “60 Minutes” and first thought they could be an answer.

But as the story progressed, the program showed the mining operation and the environmental nightmare of digging up thousands of acres at a time.

Oil companies tried to defend themselves by saying that they were required to return the land to its original state.

Can seedlings replace a forest that has grown for hundreds of years? Even responsible loggers would say “no,” knowing that they could not harvest that land for many years.

The real solution is increasing our dependence on alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and tidal. Also, we must rely more on mass transit and nonpolluting forms of transportation.

taking these steps, we would not damage the Earth by mining oil sands and we would dramatically reduce our need for hydrocarbons in all forms.

Donald MacLean III

Bridgton

 

 

Gays in the military would be a mistake

 

As a Vietnam-era Army veteran, I feel strongly that homosexuals should not be allowed in the military.

Many military persons, past and present, are God-fearing. As such, they view the homosexual lifestyle as an abomination.

If I thought I would have to live in close quarters with homosexuals, I would not have gone when I was drafted.

Don’t damage the morale of our forces and destroy the image, here and abroad, of our proud military. Don’t give the Muslim nations we’re trying to help another reason to kill our soldiers. Please oppose allowing homosexuals in our military.

Steven Gray

South Portland

 

 

So how does a person in the military serve “openly gay”? Does he or she talk with a high-pitched voice, dress in the clothes of the opposite sex or hit on their barracks-mate or shipmate?

Why are so many pushing to have gays serve openly in the military? “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is a good philosophy, whether it’s an official rule or not. Who really cares if a person is gay?

Proponents of being “openly gay” in the military praise the gays’ war-fighting capabilities, their bravery in combat and/or their desire to serve their country. Fine!

But what happens when they are not out killing people and breaking things? Are they pestering their straight barracks/shipmates? Are they “openly” having sex with another gay? Or perhaps they are monopolizing the showers?

One can’t help but wonder: How many “openly gay” proponents have served in the military with gays? How many have been hit upon by gays, whether in the military or civilian life? It seems greatly unfair that these politically correct politicians are forcing the military to accept something that the vast majority don’t want anything to do with.

Reportedy, some 13,500 members of the military have been discharged under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law. Apparently they did tell, and perhaps they wanted out of the service. Or perhaps they were caught in a compromising situation, violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

So, if some serve “openly gay,” do others serve “openly straight”? Hogwash!

Errol N. Melander

Bowdoinham

 

 

Something very wrong in way visa request was treated

 

Regarding the immigration issue, a good friend of mine in the Philippines recently applied for a tourist visa to vist the United States.

She worked for KBR/Serka in Iraq for us for two years, starting as a clerk in the post exchange and finishing her tour as a supervisor in the medical laundry in Mosul.

Despite having a notarized letter from my wife and me, a supporting letter from Rep. Chellie Pingree’s office and a collection of service awards from both KBR and the U.S. Army, her application was rejected.

Something, I feel, is wrong here.

Joseph M. Kolko

Portland