Readers write: Environmental effects, believing reports

Letters to the editor for the Jan. 23, 2017 weekly magazine.

Michael Bonfigli
Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism speaks at the St. Regis Hotel on December 9, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Environmental effects

Regarding the Dec. 8 online article “Trump nominates staunch EPA foe Scott Pruitt as agency head” ( Both Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt say they want the agency to concentrate on its mission of protecting the air and water. I wonder how they propose to accomplish this by loosening or eliminating environmental regulations and restrictions on fossil fuel production. 

States’ rights is a lofty concept, but when an issue such as climate change profoundly affects the entire nation and some states are not acting in the national interest, it’s Washington’s job to intervene. If Congress doesn’t act, it’s up to the executive branch. Of course the Environmental Protection Agency’s job is to protect the air and water, and yes, this requires a pro-energy agenda – but a pro-green, not a pro-fossil one, and that is what the Clean Power Plan, fuel-efficiency standards, and other “troublesome” regulations are designed for. Why do Mr. Trump, Mr. Pruitt, Congress, and some states oppose this? It has nothing to do with climate science. Simply follow the money. It leaves an ugly trail straight to the fossil fuel and related industries that are destroying the environment, polluting the air and water, damaging public health, and pushing the United States toward climate catastrophe.

Carol Steinhart

Madison, Wis.

Believing reports

Regarding the Dec. 9 online article “Obama orders review of US election amid Russian hacking concerns” ( Before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell gave a presentation to the United Nations, pointing out exactly where Iraq was hiding its weapons of mass destruction. Now we are being told that American intelligence agencies are confident that Russia secretly boosted Donald Trump’s chances of winning the presidential election while diminishing Hillary Clinton’s. Of course, it was Mr. Trump himself who kept warning of a “rigged” election. 

Whether it was or wasn’t, at this particular time, I am tempted to believe that this latest report may again be nothing more than propaganda.

Joann Lee Frank

Clearwater, Fla.

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