New regulations will add to cost of air pollution
The Sun's editorial "Emerging from the haze" (Nov. 17) raised important questions about the costs of air pollution. And it is our power plants that emit more smog- and soot-forming pollutants than any other industry.
The emissions from coal-fired power plants pose serious health risks to the elderly, children and individuals with respiratory problems. Last year, the Baltimore area had 111 "code orange" and 16 "code red" days on which individuals were exposed to hazardous levels of smog pollution.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 25 million U.S. children live in counties that violate air quality standards for ozone, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide.
Not only do mercury emissions from power plants affect public health, but 41 states (including Maryland) have issued warnings not to consume fish because of high mercury content. Carbon dioxide emissions from power plants also contribute to global warming, which has devastating public health impacts.
Unfortunately, President Bush's new rules will virtually eliminate enforcement of the Clean Air Act for the oldest and dirtiest power plants, refineries and other industrial facilities -- making pollution even worse and increasing its medical costs ("White House pulls back on clean air rules," Nov. 23).
Americans need stronger enforcement of clean air protections, not rollbacks.
The writer is an environmental associate for the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.
Orwellian aspect to clean air rules
President Bush's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved rolling back rules forcing power companies to reduce emissions, saying the companies will now reduce emissions on their own ("White House pulls back on clean air rules," Nov. 23).
This is blatant Orwellian doublethink. It goes right along with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's suggestions that we must surrender our civil liberties to his agencies in order to protect freedom and democracy.
How long will it be before we see the slogan "War is Peace" printed on every public building?
How did state board fail so miserably?
Having retired after 30 years of service with Maryland's Division of Parole and Probation, I am overwhelmed by the failures within our pension system ("While trustees dozed, a fund manager stole," Nov. 17).
How could the prestigious members of the state's pension board have failed so miserably in their responsibilities? How could the theft and mishandling of millions of dollars of pension money go on without their knowledge?
This never would have happened under the leadership of our former state comptroller, the late Louis Goldstein.
Pugh was right to try to better city's image
Surely, David Simon does not believe that the image of Baltimore he depicts is representative of the entire city ("Move to counter city's TV image with upbeat ads dies in council," Nov. 19). And Councilwoman Catherine E. Pugh should earn the admiration of all citizens for her attempt to promote the many wonderful parts of life in our city.
Nothing I read has indicated that anything Ms. Pugh was trying to accomplish would interfere with Mr. Simon's efforts. And he should understand that it is part of her job to promote the city.
Mr. Simon's view of the matter is a product of his efforts to obtain television rating success. Ms. Pugh's view is one that will help bring new employers to the city.
Drug prohibition causes the violence
Drug violence will only end when prohibition ends.
Prohibition of alcohol brought us gangsters; prohibition of drugs brings us gangstas. Insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.
Let's end the insanity and end the violence by ending prohibition.
Some teen-agers know war very well
The writer of "Today's teen-agers ignorant about war" (Opinion
Commentary, Nov. 17) says, "If fewer people know about war, then there will be fewer willing to fight."
The writer thus shows his adolescence. There is no such thing as a good war. However, not knowing about war will not lead people not to fight. Knowing about war teaches us about its atrocities and what we need to do to avoid them in the future.
And some teen-agers can imagine themselves in a war.. Walk into any mess hall at Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune or Fort Drum and you can see teens who have sacrificed part of their lives to serve our country.
We live in a free country today because of our military. Yet some teen-agers today don't know anything about the military because their parents never served.
My advice to those less-knowing teen-agers is to ask their grandparents, uncles and aunts, visit a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall or look around their neighborhoods for the men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
Joseph J. Gutierrez
Teen-agers' words carry ring of truth