Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 24, 2006

Act now to redress BGE rate increase

I agree wholeheartedly with Edwin Hill's column "Maryland needs new PSC to protect public interest" (Opinion * Commentary, May 19).

It's past time for the governor and the Democratic leaders of the state's House and Senate to put political games aside and take action to modify the 72 percent electricity rate increase, which is due to begin in July.

Obviously, the Public Service Commission will do nothing. Its members need to be replaced.

Also, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers need to be reimbursed for the $528 million paid to Constellation Energy Group in anticipation that its power plants, including the Calvert Cliffs nuclear facility, would decrease in value, which didn't happen.

In addition, the public has a right to know what profits BGE-Constellation has made over the last six years when rates to customers were frozen, as well as the projected cost of energy when the cap comes off.

Otherwise, how will we know that BGE will not be making a windfall profit?

Finally, electricity needs to be re-regulated.

It's an essential commodity for everyone and should not become a source of unreasonable profit for CEOs and stockholders at the expense of consumers.

David L. Pollitt

Forest Hill

Governor's goal is to limit turnout

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is going crazy over the prospect of early voting for one reason and one reason only: Early voting in Maryland could bring many more middle- and lower-class citizens to the polls ("Ehrlich on offensive against early voting," May 19).

That would result in many more people voting Democratic and against the governor.

It's hard to imagine hundreds of Marylanders running from one location to another to vote 20 or 30 times for the candidates of their choice.

These people would probably be caught. And multiple voters would face serious charges and possibly jail time, a price nobody is willing to pay.

The 35 states that allow early voting have safeguards and practices that help prevent the fraud that Mr. Ehrlich is supposedly so worried about.

To cry now about an illusion of voter fraud that might occur if early voting is allowed in Maryland shows that Mr. Ehrlich and his cronies are only interested in vote suppression and keeping working people away from the polls in November.

Eric Crossley

Laurel

Immigration alters nation's character

Allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens only encourages more illegal immigration ("Bush seeks the center on U.S. immigration," May 22).

We now have more than 11 million illegal immigrants in this country. How long will it be before that number is 20 million?

Our country has flourished for more than 200 years with our present traditions, language, laws, etc. And adding millions of people from any one different tradition is bound to have major consequences for our society.

I do not think it is racist to not want to take chances on the future of our country and the quality of life of our children and grandchildren.

But it seems that many of our legislators are so enamored of the prospect of winning over Hispanic voters that they are willing to take that risk.

Ann Heuer

Elkton

Senate out of touch with its constituents

The U.S. Senate sits around for days debating illegal immigration ("Bush seeks the center on U.S. immigration," May 22). And the best it can come up with is a scheme to build a 370-mile fence on a 2,000-mile border and to declare English the national language (which is rather like declaring Coke the official drink of the Olympics) while it works on legislation that may allow millions of criminals to become U.S. citizens.

I think the Senate has completely lost touch with the citizens it serves.

Kurt S. Willem

Hydes

No reason to exclude Taiwan from WHO

Despite its efforts to meaningfully participate in the international arena and its early, voluntary adoption of World Health Organization's International Health Regulations, Taiwan once again finds itself the odd man out in this week's World Health Assembly annual meeting in Geneva.

A victim of the continued politicization of public health, Taiwan nonetheless stands to offer the world much in the ways of medical expertise and overseas humanitarian experience.

Taiwan is the world's 17th-largest economy and has a health care system consistently ranked as one of the best in the world, yet it is unable to lend its assistance in WHO-sponsored humanitarian missions because of its non-member status.

Taking a pragmatic approach to the issue, Taiwan is willing to bypass political questions on sovereignty and instead apply for observer status as a "health entity."

There is no logical reason why petty political wrangling should keep 23 million people out of an organization dedicated to universal health.

Eddy Tsai

Washington

The writer is director of the press division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.

Shortage of soldiers hampers war effort

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