Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 07, 2006

LNG terminal poses threat to progress

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant is absolutely wrong for Dundalk.

Local elected officials came out against the plan last week, and I agree with them ("Smith opposes natural gas plant," Feb. 28).

In fact, I wrote a letter Feb. 20 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the federal agency that approves or disapproves the proposal for such a plant, asking it to deny the request for several reasons.

The proposed LNG terminal would be located on the site of the former Sparrows Point shipyard - less than two miles from heavily populated neighborhoods of Dundalk, Turner's Station and Edgemere. I do not believe these communities should be a dumping ground for this type of facility.

LNG is a hazardous fuel that can explode when ignited.

I am concerned that there could be an accident at the facility or on the tankers that travel up the Chesapeake Bay with LNG on board. The facility or the tankers could also be potential terrorist targets. Either scenario could put area residents in danger.

In addition, the Coast Guard is already patrolling the LNG facility at Cove Point in Calvert County, in addition to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the port of Baltimore. The Coast Guard's surveillance capabilities could be stretched thin if another plant is opened nearby.

And finally, this area has been the focus of a major revitalization effort.

When I was Baltimore County executive, we invested $130 million in making these communities even better places to live. Putting an LNG facility in the area would harm years of progress.

For all of these reasons, the FERC should deny the proposal for an LNG facility in Dundalk.

We must put the safety of our citizens and their quality of life first.

C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger

Washington

The writer represents Maryland's 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Don't let criminals ever vote again

Once again, liberal Annapolis lawmakers are trying to take measures to gain bogus votes in this year's elections. Maryland House Del. Salima S. Marriot, a Baltimore Democrat, is gathering sponsors for a so-called voting rights restoration bill ("Voting rights and wrongs," editorial, Feb. 27).

If such a measure is approved, an estimated 150,000 former felons could be able to cast ballots in future elections.

Convicted murderers, rapists and armed robbers should not ever be granted such a privilege as to vote in this state.

Voting is a privilege and not a right. I urge the state legislature not even to consider such a left-wing-influenced measure and not to permit convicted felons to cast votes.

This is not about voting rights, this is a partisan attempt to introduce fraud into our elections.

This cannot and should not be tolerated by the law-abiding citizens of Maryland who have shown respect for the laws of the state and the nation.

Al Eisner

Wheaton

Can we condone Bush's misconduct?

The Sun's front-page article "Katrina warnings revealed on tapes" (March 2) proves that President Bush was warned about the threat to the levees in New Orleans days before claiming that no one anticipated those threats.

The debate is over; this president is a liar.

Mr. Bush lies often and shamelessly, as suits his needs.

He lies to hide incompetence, as in the case of Hurricane Katrina.

He lies to cover up lawbreaking, as he did about his domestic surveillance.

He lies to advance abhorrent policy, as with the fear-mongering over weapons of mass destruction he used to justify invading Iraq.

Whether we should impeach Mr. Bush is no longer the question.

Facing three more years of his disastrous malfeasance, we must ask instead: Can we really afford not to?

Daniel Fleisher

Baltimore

Schools are wasting money on paranoia

A $300,000 computer system to track visitors coming into the Anne Arundel County schools: That's complete paranoia ("Visitor screening sought," Feb. 28).

That money could buy thousands of textbooks or fund the salaries of several competent teachers.

Lewis Berman

Baltimore

State must stop electric price hike

First we read about the proposed merger between Constellation Energy and FPL Group and how the compensation packages of the executives were improved just weeks before the merger was announced. Now we read about rate increases of 40 percent to 80 percent expected this summer ("Slow this merger," editorial, March 1).

When electricity deregulation was passed in Maryland in 1999, it was done with the intention that residential customers would have a choice about energy providers when the rate freeze expired in 2006.

For a variety of reasons, competition has not arrived in Maryland. As a result, the residential customers will have no alternative but to watch their bills skyrocket.

Deregulation does not work when there is no competition.

If Constellation Energy were losing money with the rate freeze in place, perhaps the increases would be justified. But the fact is that Constellation is a very profitable corporation.

Our state legislature must act now to hold back the proposed rate increases.

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