June 25, 2011

Letters to the editor, June 25, 2011
Consolidation hurts Maine fishermen

(Continued from page 1)

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A fishing boat passes Ram Island Ledge Light entering Portland Harbor. New rules harm independent fishermen, a reader says.

2009 Press Herald file

Stephen R. Small


A May 23 letter unfairly targeted Sen. Olympia Snowe for her strong and principled defense of small business in light of the crushing blow of federal regulations.

This attack letter was both disingenuous and purely political, and completely ignored Sen. Snowe's meaningful actions to promote small business and job creation while simultaneously protecting the health and safety of our nation's workers.

Our company, Arundel Machine Tool, has strived to create a safe workplace for our employees. Since our facility utilizes large machinery, we are well aware of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's noise control rule.

The proposed change to this rule would have required countless businesses to install costly new equipment at a time when they can least afford it.

The facts speak for themselves. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the current noise rule, incidences of hearing loss injuries have declined from 3.2 per 1,000 employees to 2.2 between 2004 and 2009. Furthermore, OSHA rescinded its proposed changes to the noise rule earlier this year, recognizing that "addressing this problem requires much more public outreach and many more resources than we had originally anticipated."

The evidence shows the current rule is working. While we respect OSHA's desire to continually improve workplace safety, the decision to pull its reinterpretation because it did not adequately reach out to small businesses, which would bear the brunt of these changes, is telling.

If OSHA had discussed its desired changes with small business stakeholders before proposing this flawed rule, we could have worked collaboratively to address its shortcomings.

That is why we commend Sen. Snowe for working to ensure that small businesses have a voice in the federal rulemaking process, so we can achieve common-sense regulations that protect America's hard-working individuals without burdening small businesses with unnecessary red tape.

Patrick Shrader

Vice President, Arundel Machine


Mainers will be pleased to learn that recently, both of our U.S. senators joined a bipartisan majority to repeal $21 billion in taxpayer subsidies to the most profitable oil companies.

These billions were targeted to pay down the federal deficit. The bill failed to get the necessary 60 votes, but by voting to repeal these corporate handouts, Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins stood with Maine working families who are feeling pain at the gas pump and on tax day.

We also commend Sen. Snowe for voting against an irresponsible proposal to expand offshore oil and gas drilling that would put our fisheries and a whole way of life at risk.

As Maine families struggle with high gas prices, now is the time to stop subsidizing Big Oil and to take action to reduce our dangerous and expensive dependence on oil.

Maureen Drouin

Executive Director

Maine League of Conservation Voters



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