It’s getting harder to keep track of who’s on first in efforts to address the issue of climate change.

Does Congress have the lead with ambitious legislation introduced by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.? Is it the Environmental Protection Agency, which recently released a rule to regulate greenhouse gas emissions? Or is it one of a handful of state governments bent on enacting strict environmental rules and foisting the cost and red tape on the rest of us?

The question of jurisdiction has always dogged solutions aimed at cleaning up the environment in our country. That’s a real problem because right now what we need is a workable national standard that balances regulation of pollutants with keeping the economy moving ahead.

What we have now is a confusing regulatory framework that’s been cobbled together by Congress, federal agencies and state governments. It isn’t working. Uncertainty about regulation makes businesses nervous about expanding, hiring new workers and investing in their operations.

For Mainers that means a slower path to recovery, a longer stretch of unemployment and less tax revenue for local communities already dealing with substantial budgetary shortfalls.

If we’re to achieve a comprehensive solution to the issue of climate change, it should come from our elected representatives in Congress — not from federal bureaucrats and overreaching state governments.

Tom Elliman

Portland

 

Despite efforts over the decades, it seems we simply cannot adequately regulate financial markets in a way that will totally protect our country from any speculation.

However, that doesn’t mean that we should create new opportunities for Wall Street to manipulate new markets to the detriment of our economy. Unfortunately, that is just what the proposed Kerry-Lieberman energy bill would do.

This bill calls for a cap-and-trade scheme in an attempt to limit carbon emissions. It would require new regulators to oversee an artificial market in carbon permits. Wall Street manipulators, hampered in their ability to stir up mortgage markets, would love a new opportunity to speculate.

Cap-and-trade rules have not worked in Europe to reach emission reduction goals, and overall emissions in Europe continue to rise.

The Senate should reject the Kerry-Lieberman bill with its prime opportunities for market manipulation and lack of previous success. We need fresh thinking and new ideas.

David Robertiello

Portland

 

 

If the Obama administration is guilty of anything with regard to the BP oil spill, it is the same thing every previous administration is guilty of — lax oversight and allowing offshore oil drilling in the first place.

Rich Connor’s column (“Obama’s slick escape,” Maine Sunday Telegram. May 23) is an example of grasping at straws in order to set up a straw man. His columns rarely make any sense.

Edgar Beem

Yarmouth

 

 

Stronger police presence needed in city’s downtown

 

Regarding the death of a young man in Monument Square recently.

The bottom line is that this was a very bad thing and that unless the city of Portland reacts more strongly to the extreme growth of, “problem people” that have come in recently, it will eventually lose many business dollars from both local residents, tourists and other visitors.

Not everyone is going to pack a gun, and a far stronger police presence is needed in the central peninsula!

Peter Folger

Biddeford

 

 

Idea would raise money, get lousy drivers off road

 

If Maine is really serious about raising badly needed revenue — and our Legislature can put aside ideas of additional taxes on the air that we breathe or the number of baths that we take — I have a suggestion.

When it’s time for each of us to renew our Maine driver’s license, add a 15-minute road test along with an additional $25. The road test will occur in the car or truck that we are currently driving. In the front passenger seat will be a police officer who is well-versed in driver education. Based upon the behavior of the man or woman sitting behind the wheel and the condition of the vehicle, it should be pretty easy for the officer to determine if the applicant truly knows “the rules of the road.”

This includes the use of automatic turn signals, the observance of posted stop signs, and no distractions like cell phones! The road test would be pass or fail with a period of 30 days before retesting. The $25 fee would be paid for each additional exam.

Let’s face it, there are some really lousy drivers out there — all ages, both sexes! While Maine has ‘inherited’ some of them from other states, a good percentage of our lousy drivers have been in this state all their lives.

If there are physical or emotional reasons why Maine licensed drivers can’t operate their vehicles sensibly, then they have absolutely no business putting “road ready drivers” in danger. Think about it!

Gary Dixon

Ocean Park

 

 

Keep pets, children safe by using organic products

 

When you’re outdoors this spring working on your lawn and garden, you can protect your family’s health by choosing organic products and avoiding pesticides. Toxic chemicals applied around your home are hazardous to humans and other animals.

One study showed that dogs exposed to chemically treated lawns were four to seven times more likely to get cancer.

If you have pets or children who enjoy playing on your lawn, it’s particularly important to minimize their exposure to toxic pesticides.

You can maintain a healthy and attractive lawn without using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. If you care for your yard yourself, visit www.safelawns.org for actions to take — simple measures like setting your mower on a high setting and leaving grass clippings to act as a natural fertilizer.

If you prefer using a lawn care company, hire one that only uses organic methods. You’ll be doing your health and the environment a big favor, and you won’t have those ugly white warning signs marking your lawn!

Camden’s parks and lodging establishments boast beautiful lawns and gardens which are maintained without use of toxic chemicals. If they can do it, so can you.

Laurie Wolfrum

Citizens for a Green Camden

Camden