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Letters to the editor

July 21, 2008

It's time to rethink oil, from the ground up



To the editor:

I'm getting tired of hearing politicians whine about gas tax holidays and parading oil company executives in front of congressional hearings as if they were responsible for the high price of energy.

We are witnessing the largest transfer of wealth in history. America imports about 12 million barrels of oil per day. At $100 per barrel, that translates into $1.2 billion in real money leaving this country every day.

While this may be a somewhat simplistic view of the situation, I would bet that most of the money stays outside this country once it leaves. Meanwhile, our own infrastructure - highways, sewer systems, water systems, education systems, electricity grid, rail systems - continue to gradually deteriorate.

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Our Social Security system continues down the path toward the ultimate train wreck of insolvency. Health care costs continue to spiral ever higher, placing more and more Americans at risk.

Our politicians have talked about a gas tax holiday to help Americans be able to afford to fuel up their pickup trucks, SUVs, and RVs this summer.

When will our politicians stop being politicians and start being leaders? What we need is not a gas tax holiday. We need a broad program to make this country energy independent within 20 years. I, for one, am willing to pay a little more for my gas if I know the funds are being used to develop alternative energy sources to replace imported oil.

This country is no longer in control of its own destiny when 60 percent of our oil comes from outside and is controlled by nations that are not the most stable and friendly countries. I am not proposing isolation from the rest of the world, but I am proposing that the U.S. take steps to become energy-independent.

Develop wind, solar, geothermal, and nuclear energy to replace oil and natural gas that is imported. Provide incentives to use geothermal in new home construction. Develop wind and tidal energy resources to provide electricity, and more.

We need a broad program, funded partially by taxes on consumption and partially by private industry, to reach the goal of being energy independent within 20 years.

Think what it would do for our national security if we didn't have to import 12 million barrels of oil every day. Think what we could do if we didn't send $1.2 billion offshore every day ($438 billion per year). We could update our transportation infrastructure. We could improve our water and sewer systems.

We wouldn't have to go to war over oil, wasting billions more that is desperately needed for Social Security and health care in this country. Use your imagination. It's time to think outside the box.

I haven't heard one candidate for president, or congress, or the senate put forward a program to achieve energy independence. It's time to send them all home, for good, and start over with all new people. Maybe a leader will emerge.

Merle Harnish
Greencastle, Pa.




Give these youth baseball teams their due



To the editor:

My husband and I had the honor and privilege to see the 7- and 8-year-old Clear Spring All Stars play in the Pen Mar Tournament. We have a grandson and a great-grandson on the Clear Spring team.

We do not understand the lack of publicity for the all star teams this age.

The teams with boys ages 9 and up to 15 get all kinds of pictures and write ups just for playing. Well, we are here to tell you the Clear Spring 7 and 8 year olds played their hearts out and won the tournament. The board members of the Clear Spring league never even showed for any of the games. Not even the championship game on July 13.

The team had to take their own pictures and their own write up The Herald-Mail themselves. We are so proud of each and every one of these boys.

Their pitching, catching, batting and fielding were every bit as good as the older boys. These younger boys were undefeated in this tournament. They are very proud and play their hearts out.

We know all who watched these games were just as proud and impressed with the way this team played.

We are very proud to have witnessed this. Congratulations to the team, the manager, and the coaches for a job well done and the win. Best of luck to all of you in the upcoming Smithsburg and Valley tournaments. We're looking forward to watching these games. We know you will do a great job.

Gloria and Bob Embly
Hagerstown

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