Costly WaiverIn 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection...


November 20, 1992

Costly Waiver

In 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made an agreement with environmental groups, oil companies, and ethanol and methanol manufacturers covering reformulated gasoline to improve air quality in the nine smoggiest cities.

The reformulated gasoline is supposed to reduce a precursor to smog, volatile organic compounds.

Gasoline blended with ethanol reduces carbon monoxide emissions but makes gasoline evaporate faster, thereby aggravating air pollution in hotter weather. The agreement put limits on the use of ethanol in the nine cities for this reason.

However, President Bush granted ethanol a waiver from the Clean Air Act requirements as a payoff to the ethanol producers. Baltimore, Chicago, Hartford, Milwaukee, New York, and Philadelphia are the dubious beneficiaries of the waiver.

There are alternatives to the use of ethanol such as ethyl tertiary butyl ether, which are effective without the increase in smog producers.

The original rules had real air quality improvement benefits. This waiver could cost the public up to $50 million, Baltimore drivers included, with no benefits to improved air quality.

Perhaps we can convince the new administration to act for the public's benefit and rescind the biased waiver.

Bernard Ostrofsky


Back to Basics

I think it is time to get back to basics in the penal system.

People who have disobeyed the laws of this country and are sentenced to jail should not have the "rights" that the rest of the public has.

Prisoners should not have phones, TVs or other things in their cells or accessible to them. They should have to raise their own food, clean the prison, do the laundry and work hard enough to sleep at night.

Giving them more than the comforts of the homes they came from is only asking them to come back and stay longer.

Sentences should be sensible and actual. No parole.

The taxpayers shouldn't be paying for criminals to get college educations. If they have no skills, they should be sentenced after their prison term to do some more time in a rehab facility to prepare them to work in the world.

I think that our Marines, or other armed forces regulars should serve one month a year as guards in the penitentiaries. This way there could be no communicating with outsiders from prisoners through guards.

Murderers should never get out of prison. They should be sentenced to life and a day.

If we do not give prisoners tough sentencing and tough work while serving, we will never break the cycle of crime.

Winifred Medcalf


Schaefer's Assets

Recently, our Gov. William Donald Schaefer made the personal decision to support President Bush for re-election.

In the American tradition, he has every right to do this. By the same token, the members of the Democratic party of Maryland and the members of the press have the same right to criticize him for this plus other actions that he has taken.

The freedom to agree or disagree with our fellow citizens without fear of retribution is one of the things that has helped this country survive over 200 years.

I feel that we must look at the overall picture of Governor Schaefer and his life. Like many other able men and women throughout our country, he has devoted his entire adult life to public service.

As you well know, no one of us is perfect. Each and every one of us has strengths and weaknesses. I am one who happens to feel that our governor's strengths far out-number his weaknesses.

Through the years, I believe that Governor Schaefer has been a great asset to the city of Baltimore as well as to the state of Maryland, and certainly no liability.

I'm certain that there are people who disagree with my assessment of his career. I never thought the day would come when I, a Republican, would come to the defense of a Democratic governor.

!R. M. McLaughlin, M.D.


The Goode Book

It has recently come to my attention that an article (Sept. 20) which your publication picked up from the New York Times News Service about my recent autobiography, "In Goode Faith," stated that "some political analysts tend to dismiss the whole book as self-serving."

Although that may be true (is there an autobiography that isn't?), what I find disturbing is that the only person the reporter chose to quote to justify that claim and to comment on my tenure as mayor of Philadelphia was Neil Oxman, one of my former media advisers.

Oxman was quoted as if he were in a position to comment objectively on me or on my book. Since the book reveals unethical actions by Oxman during my campaign for a second term as mayor of Philadelphia, he is hardly a proper "political analyst" for an astute reporter to use as a source for commentary on my book.

It's a little like asking Nixon what he thinks of Woodward and Bernstein.

. Wilson Goode


Channel One

As a parent of children in the Baltimore City schools, I'd like to respond to the plethora of letters and commentary opposed to Channel One.

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