Your editorial “Energy security a vital national interest” on July 11 speaks directly to our era’s energy challenge. Right now this issue is in immediate need of political leadership. Energy presents major national problems and opportunities that Maine’s two senators could do much to resolve and realize.

As the admiral you quoted makes plain, our long-term national security demands a rapid transition from fossil fuels. We know that oil reserves largely lie in hostile territory and are dwindling even there.

But there are other related threats from the country’s trade imbalance to disruption caused by climate change. As to the latter, the U.S. Defense Department has repeatedly warned of “significant geopolitical impacts” of climate change.

A major defense review in February stated that “climate change, energy security and economic stability are inextricably linked.” This challenges our reliance on both oil and coal.

Passage of an energy/climate bill pending in the U.S. Senate could mark a positive turning point for a better energy future. And Maine’s two senators have great influence over whether this measure passes. A solid energy/climate bill would advance energy efficiency and renewable power, employing people while countering the many problems caused by burning oil and coal.

A good energy/climate bill would 1) set enforceable limits on carbon emissions and 2) use proceeds from selling permits to improve energy efficiency and offset any potential harm to consumers.

Energy efficiency and clean American power will make us more secure and put people to work. Moreover, Maine is particularly well positioned to benefit. In short, our senators should lead the effort to pass this vital legislation. They need to know that we back them in doing just that.

Rep. Jon Hinck

Utilities and Energy Committee, co-chair D-Portland 

Beware Paul LePage if he means what he says

John Frary treads a fine line presenting his case for GOP primary winner Paul LePage in his Maine Voices column (“LePage a mainstream conservative, but his opponents can’t admit it,” July 6).

Frary states that LePage has not actually proposed creationism be taught in public schools. However, when queried in a Maine Public Broadcasting interview, “Do you believe in creationism, and do you think it should be taught in Maine public schools?” Mr. LePage said the following: “I would say intelligence, uh, the more education you have, the more knowledge you have, the better person you are and I believe yes and yes.”

A bit muddy, but work through it: Mr. LePage thinks creationism should be taught in our public schools.

Frary also wrote, when admitting that LePage would “not oppose” a school board moving toward creationism: “It seems unlikely that any Maine school board would actually include a ‘creationist’ curriculum component.”

Note to Frary: In 2008, members of School Administrative District 59 in Madison proposed removing the teaching of evolution biology because it is “not proven,” cleverly leading to discussion between the board and parents about teaching both “theories” to be “fair.” (Thankfully, the issue was eventually tabled.)

Not only is evolution “provable,” but it is perhaps the most tested and verified theory in the history of science; it is the basis for teaching topics like biology, genetics and ecology.

The Maine Department of Education mandates the teaching of evolutionary biology. “For our students to be prepared for college work and life in the 21st century, it’s necessary,” David Connerty-Marin, a spokesman for the department, told the Kennebec Journal.

Beware LePage and the new radical right platform of the state GOP (which GOP leader Dan Billings called “nutcase stuff”). Before you know it, Maine might look like Texas, and nobody wants that. Do we?

Lorry Fleming


Bush tax cuts will lapse because recession lingers

Another President Obama promise is to be broken.

Democrats have pledged to shield middle-class taxpayers from the Dec. 31 expiration of the Bush tax cuts, though no action has been taken. And because President Obama’s programs have tripled the national deficit in just 18 months, Congress most likely will not renew the cuts.

That means taxes go up for everyone, and the highest increases go to lower and middle-income earners.

The lowest rate goes from 10 percent to 15 percent, lower middle income taxes go up from 15 percent to 28 percent, while middle and upper middle-income rates go up 3 percentage points, and the highest income rates go up 4.9 percentage points.

Making it even worse, those who have saved for their future will see the maximum tax rates on their savings dividends rise 39.6 percent.

The marriage-penalty tax returns for everyone, no matter their income, as well as the death tax, which jumps to 55 percent. It would also lower the child tax credit from $1,000 to $500 and remove tax protections for married couples.

John Walkenford


Maine, Massachusetts RINOs slammed on reform

Once again the two senators from Maine have bought into a Republican-in-name-only (RINO) status. Both Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have opted to again follow the twisted path of the liberals on financial reform.

To my way of thinking, the two architects of this new financial reform bill were the villains that created the lending mess initially that catapulted us down the path of this depression. Both Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., steadfastly maintained that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were sound and it was only fair to make loans to Americans judged by banks to be too risky.

To trust these two to author a financial reform to prevent future debacles appears to be the height of carelessness. Just the fact these two scoundrels were involved in the reform should have been enough to garner a “no” vote.

Did such common sense aid our two twisted RINOs? Apparently not, as they flaunt their support of the bill and welcome the support of Scott Brown, the new Republican senator from Massachusetts.

I think he and our own two traitors will find many previous supporters very unhappy with their choice. Many who thought them different from the tax-and-spend liberals are now seeing the true reason why we are $14 trillion in debt.

The recession isn’t over yet and more fallout is waiting in the wings. What is sad is our children and grandchildren are going to pay big-time for our mistakes.

George A. Fogg

North Yarmouth