July 15, 2013

Letters to the editor: Rails are still safer than pipelines

In response to "Derailment fuels debate over trains vs. pipelines for oil transport":

A burnt out vehicle sits near the wreckage of a train car following a train derailment in Lac Megantic Quebec
click image to enlarge

A reader says the tragic rail fire in Quebec doesn't change the fact that pipelines have a worse environmental track record.

Reuters

While this article acknowledges the debate, it does not delve into it, which is something worth doing in light of recent environmental concerns in Maine.

Citizens and environmentalists alike have every right to be concerned about transporting tar sands through oil pipelines.

Over the past five years, 7,300,000 gallons of oil have been spilled from oil pipelines, while fewer than 100,000 gallons have been spilled by rail transport in the past decade.

Tar sands oil spills wreak more havoc -- higher pressure lines mean more oil spilled before a leak is caught. The immediacy of the disaster in Quebec shouldn't occlude equally catastrophic and less recent pipeline spills.

We ought to remember the extreme environmental damage caused by recent pipeline spills in Arkansas and Michigan. The fact remains that neither trains nor pipelines are a safe means of transport for crude oil.

In order to prevent future disasters of this ilk, we must refocus on moving away from our reliance on fossil fuels and toward sustainable and safe energy sources.

Sarah Curran

York Harbor

If the runaway train in Lac-Megantic been transporting windmills and solar panels, the number of deaths and environmental damage would have been far less.

There are safer alternatives to oil. We can do better.

Jo Ann Myers

Waldoboro

Environmental advocate wants McCarthy at EPA

How many more horrifying stories do we need to see on the news and read in the paper before we do something?

Last week, 50 of the 60 beaches in Maine were deemed unsafe for swimming due to bacteria.

China had 3-inch-thick algae covering the waters off its shores.

The Saco River in Buxton is now also coated with algae and foam contaminating the water supply and making it a nasty place to swim.

We are rapidly losing the battle on global warming.

President Obama is trying to move forward on this topic.

We need people working for the state Department of Environmental Protection and federal Environmental Protection Agency who will perform their mission: to protect the environment.

The president's nominee to lead the EPA, Gina McCarthy, would be a champion for tackling climate change. I ask the U.S. Senate to confirm her nomination.

Glenn Vaillancourt

Buxton

Health care worker says CEO salaries out of control

I work for a sister agency of MaineHealth as a direct care worker. The sister agency is Maine Mental Health Partners.

A few months ago, I received a correspondence from the human resources department notifying me that (once again) I would not be receiving a "cost-of-living" adjustment to my hourly wage this year.

The denial letter contained the usual platitudes of difficult financial times and much agony on the part of senior management in deciding which category of employees would receive an increase and who would not.

From the Sunday Telegram article bringing to light the high executive pay packages ("Amid cuts, Maine hospitals still paying million dollar salaries," July 7), I now know why. I really don't think senior management did much agonizing. They have earned my contempt.

David E. Dupree

North Waterford

Immigration bill will be bad news for Americans

Why is the proposed immigration bill bad and dangerous?

If you give 10 million undocumented (read illegal!) aliens some sort of "right to work" or "legal resident" document, you will set the following results in motion:

The United States of America is not really a country based on the rule of law.

U.S. labor unions will gain several million dues-paying members. The last thing this country needs! More headaches and expenses for U.S. employers.

U.S. welfare rolls will show a huge spike. A huge expense for every state in the union!

Millions of foreign nationals, having seen the reality of reward for breaking U.S. laws, will need only a short time to find a way around a wall along the Mexican border and the increased Border Patrol force.

The U.S. Congress, the American Civil Liberties Union and the do-gooders can start another no-guts process of "fixing" immigration laws.

The sudden influx of now-legal aliens into the job market will fill the jobs (fast food places, restaurant help, etc.) that high school and college students rely on to defray expenses.

Charles S. Copp

Westbrook

Newspaper has to regain a sense of political balance

Each year, on returning to Maine, I am again shocked at just how slanted to the left this paper is.

Your own columnists are of the far-left variety, and your editorial page could be from any socialist publication.

Your ranting about Gov. LePage is nonsensical. It might interest your readers to know that, outside of Maine, he is very well-regarded for doing the right thing for the people of Maine.

Your attempt to cover for the Obama administration is comical. One is left to wonder if there is any perspective involved in your views.

Has it occurred to your writers that all states with out-of-control spending and debt have long been in Democratic hands? Examples would be California, Illinois, New York and Massachusetts.

The taxes in these states are driving out people and companies, both of which go to low-tax, low-debt states, all of which are Republican-run.

If you want a city run by Democrats, I give you Detroit.

It would be nice to see at least one staff writer with a neutral view.

Gerald Tello

Wells

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