Letters to the Editor for Nov. 4
Most opposition to hydrofracking has no scientific rationale
I read with interest the opposing articles about hydrofracking for natural gas in the Oct. 30 Gazette.
First of all, I believe that our state and nation need to develop all available sources of energy, including natural gas, if we hope to continue anything like our current lifestyles.
Most energy experts agree that we have passed the time of peak oil production worldwide. It is also agreed by most informed experts that global energy consumption will continue to increase as developing nations increase their usage. Thus we must plan to exploit other sources, such as coal, nuclear and natural gas, because renewable sources such as wind and solar power cannot supply more than a minor fraction of our energy needs.
Natural gas is a clean fuel that produces much less carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels. I, for one, support the harvesting of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales, as long as it’s done in a responsible way.
Mr. Wege pointed out that hydrofracking is a well-proven technique, and thousands of wells are drilled every year using this method without damage to drinking water supplies and without major environmental impacts. This is consistent with expert testimony from many other sources.
Conversely, most opposition to hydrofracking seems to be based on false information promulgated by sources that have little or no knowledge of the process. The infamous movie “Gasland” is a prime example of this, using scare tactics to create fear in the minds of the public.
Anyone who takes the time to study the state Department of Environmental Conservation report summarizing its Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement should find ample reasons to believe that hydrofracking is inherently safe.
Philip Sheehan, who took the opposing view in Sunday’s Gazette, acknowledged that he does not have technical expertise about “fracking,” but he made some valid points concerning the need to provide rigorous oversight of the drilling and pumping operations. I am as suspicious of Halliburton as he is, and I wouldn’t trust them to do the job right, unless they are closely supervised and forced to document every step along the way.
As Mr. Wege acknowledged, no method of drilling and extracting natural gas is without some risk. However, given the need in our society for this clean fuel source, we should make every effort to develop it in the safest way possible.
Cuomo protects the rich as he needs their money
Re Oct. 20 editorial, “Cuomo should compromise on millionaire’s tax”: I can understand Gov. Cuomo’s apparent hard line in opposing the millionaire’s tax by recognizing that he wants to be a successful governor.
To be a successful politician these days takes money. And guess what? Millionaires are the ones who have the money. It’s the core message of the Occupy Wall Street protesters: Our politics are run by money. For Gov. Cuomo to have the opportunity to continue serving, he needs to continue to have the support of the so-called millionaires.
Those who favor the millionaire’s tax and other public policies that they believe are in the best interests of 99 percent of New Yorkers should insist on cleaning up the money problem in electoral politics.
Full public funding of elections and free media access to candidates will go a long way to encourage our leaders to do the right thing, as opposed to worry about getting elected.
The writer ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Assemblyman James Tedisco in 2010 and is the Saratoga County Democratic chairman.
Taser the difference between life and death?
Re the recent incident at Gold’s Gym [Nov. 1 article, “Man dies in gym altercation”]: My only experience in law enforcement was as a Navy shore patrol officer years ago at the “sailor bars” outside the U.S. Naval base at Yokusuka, Japan, so I’m hardly an expert, but I can’t help wondering how this episode would have turned out if there had been no Tasers available.
I can’t help but believe that the “troublemaker” would still be alive. How would the police have acted without the Taser? Surely they wouldn’t have used deadly force with firearms since he apparently wasn’t threatening anyone’s life and wasn’t armed himself.
My experience included numerous confrontations with some pretty big, strong, inebriated sailors, and fortunately they were all handled with words and a few hammerlocks.
I was always accompanied by a pair of big, burly shore patrol “hard hats,” with clubs and sidearms, which were never applied. I’m sure that the military environment had a somewhat intimidating effect as well, but we certainly never came close to applying anything more than some wrestling holds.
I’m sure that if lives were threatened (knives, for example) the sidearms would likely have been used — or at least threatened. In such a situation a Taser would have been handy in place of the ’45s.
I don’t pretend to know the answer, but it seems that it is certainly a valid question:
What if there had been no Tasers?
People forget caffeine is an addictive drug
Cutting back on the “joe” really is tricky!
I appreciate the concern and usefulness of the Oct. 26 article about the National Institutes of Health report on coffee’s many side effects, aside from the assumed cliché of an energy boost. Many Americans don’t consider caffeine to be a stimulant, let alone something you could possibly become hooked on and experience withdrawal.
Being a full-time student studying to receive a bachelor’s degree, coffee was introduced into my daily diet simply for that extra energy boost throughout the day. And although the coffee allows the day to go by just a little easier, the side effects of caffeine negate that good feeling, with feelings of nausea and headaches.
I realize the large majority of Americans “run on Dunkin’” but this story offered many healthier alternatives to replace and remove caffeine from your diet overall. I found the article to be informative and helpful toward taking the next steps to a pleasurable and healthier lifestyle.
Don’t be too quick to judge Herman Cain
Predictably, the conservative commentators on radio and television are rushing to [Republican candidate] Herman Cain’s defense and blaming liberals for smearing him with the charge of [sexual] harassment.
As we all know, you are innocent until proven guilty. Let us hope this maxim of the law still prevails.
As a lifelong liberal Democrat, I would be delighted to have the Republican Party choose Mr. Cain as its presidential nominee.
Kudos for new animal abuse law in Albany
On behalf of Happy Cat Rescue, Inc., and on behalf of animal lovers all over Albany County, I want to thank Albany County Legislator Bryan Clenahan for all his hard work in getting the Legislature to pass a new law that makes the penalties for animal abuse tougher, and which also creates a real animal abuser registry system that will make it easier to keep known animal abusers from getting new pets.
We see and hear too much in the news about animal abuse these days. I’m sorry to say it, but we need more laws like this so we’ll see less of this, rather than more.
I hope other counties in our area adopt similar laws soon to help protect their animals.
The writer is vice chair of Happy Cat Rescue, Inc.
The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.
There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.
Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.
For more letters, visit our website: www.dailygazette.com.