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Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010 01:00 am

Letters to the Editor 8/26/10

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COAL ISN’T THE ANSWER
The Taylorville coal plant [see “The dirty business of ‘clean coal,’” by Rachel Wells, Aug. 19] costs are high both in terms of government bailout money in the form of grants, tax credits, and loans seldom repaid, but also in terms of the fact we would be investing in a project that will eventually shut down, all for a non-renewable, polluting source of energy. This plant will be pouring carbon into the atmosphere, just 50 percent less if the technology works.

Right now we have wind, solar and geothermal which is so much cleaner and renewable. This is where our money should be going. These energy resources do not destroy farmland as longwall mining does nor does it pour tons of carbon into the air.

The burden the Taylorville plant would place on taxpayers, the higher energy prices, carbon it would release and the damage mining the coal to fuel it is just too high. We have so many alternatives that are safe and clean that don’t run out. When the coal is gone, so are the jobs and all we would be left with are higher energy fees, a big fat unpaid loan, dirtier air and lands devastated by mining.

Anne Logue
Springfield



BIG QUESTIONS
Thank you for the article on “The dirty business of clean coal.’” I live in rural Taylorville and have been disappointed by our local media’s coverage regarding the Taylorville Energy Center (TEC). I have tried to get answers to some really big questions about the proposed plant and have been disappointed in the responses from TEC developers and local officials.

It was refreshing to read your article that showed the pros and cons associated with this project. It showed the impact of the project, not only to residential consumers, but also to business. Tenaska and TEC have tried everything they can to stack the deck in their favor. Who is out there to defend us from them?

Patty Rykhus
Taylorville



STRONG KIDS AT YMCA
The YMCA Century Club’s Strong Kids Campaign has reached its fundraising goal. The money from this campaign provides approximately 2,000 Y and summer camp scholarships to disadvantaged youths and families in the Springfield area. No one is turned away due to their inability to pay. This year, thanks to the Y members, employees and the generous citizens of the Springfield area, more than $100,000 was raised to pay for these scholarships.

Charles Chimento, chairman
Larry Wedding, co-chairman
YMCA Century Club Strong Kids Springfield



BAHA’IS PERSECUTED IN IRAN
These are sad times for members of the Baha’i faith, especially those living in Iran. A recent government ruling in Iran illustrates that the Iranian government is determined to maintain its decades-long persecution of Baha’is. Earlier this summer, seven innocent Baha’is – ordinary citizens in every way except for their chosen religion – were sentenced to 20 years in prison on fabricated crimes.

The court ruling followed more than 20 months of incarceration for these five men and two women. For nearly two years they were separated from their families, without any formal charges filed, and confined to tiny jail cells with virtually no access to their loved ones or legal representatives. No conventional trial was ever held. Instead, the government issued a summary judgment against the seven, whose only real “crime” is to belong to a peaceful, unity-embracing religion whose adherents are taught to obey their local government – even if that government mistreats them.

It is time again for people of conscience to raise their voices and let Iran know that its unbridled persecution of Baha’is is wrong and needs to stop. Thankfully, many world leaders have already expressed outrage over the latest episode. Perhaps your readers could ask their representatives in Congress to do the same.

Mike Lang
Sherman
Baha’is of Springfield

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