Letters to the editor

Feb. 10, 2013 @ 02:11 PM

More openness needed

Like other North Carolinians, I hoped that the process of setting regulations for fracking in our state would be marked by transparency and openness to public input. So I was dismayed to learn that at a recent meeting of the Mining and Energy Commission the concerns of citizen stakeholders were contemptuously dismissed as “emotional” and “grandstanding” by Vice-Chairman George Howard.

In addition to bad manners, Howard’s position as president of Restoration Systems raises serious conflict of interest issues. His company stands to profit handsomely from mitigating the harm fracking does to local waterways, damage proponents of the process assure us is most unlikely.

Repairing the harm done to local people could be even harder. Until recently the identity of chemicals in fracking fluid was a “trade secret” as jealously guarded as the recipe for Coca-Cola or KFC. Now it has been revealed that the formula includes formaldehyde, benzyl chloride and naphthalene, all major carcinogens, especially dangerous to public health in a state where the rock is so porous as to eliminate the natural barrier between shattered shale and the aquifer.

Despite this disturbing news there is a move to “fast track “approval for fracking. With all the risks they are being asked to take, North Carolinians are entitled to have their lawmakers approach regulation in an open and disinterested fashion that allows for input from land owners, farmers, environmentalists, and other concerned citizens. Our representatives should also be willing to give the issue the time it deserves.

Lynn Mitchell Kohn

Durham

I.Q. test for writers

I have just read a letter to the editor from Dusty Cooper stating that someone making a gun purchase should be required to pass a I.Q. test. 

I feel someone writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper should also be required to pass an I.Q. test,  and then we would not be bothered by letters from Dusty Cooper.

Mark Corr

Durham

Why a columnist?

I fail to understand how you can employ Neil Offen as a columnist in your paper.

Robert Fogel

Durham

Gun control

This letter is in response to  Dusty Cooper’s and Dirk Cooper’s letters Saturday.

I think Dusty Cooper is right on target with his suggestion to require all gun purchasers to take an I.Q. test before they can purchase any firearm. This would definitely slow down the  purchasing of the same.

I would like to suggest that in addition to the test all would-be gun purchasers should be required to pass a thorough background check. I would like to suggest further that all firearms that will hold a clip of 10 rounds or more be restricted to the armed forces and the police.

I think Dirk Cooper’s remarks are volatile and demeaning. His statement “I really do not have a lot of thought on gun control….” speaks volumes and his remarks prove it. I would say that the most “stupid animals on earth” are not four-legged. And if he wants to live like the “Brits” then he should move to England.

I have been an avid gun owner and sportsman since I was 14 years old I am now 73. I have sold all of my deer hunting equipment including the rifles and shotgun. I have voluntarily given up hunting because my eyesight and reflexes are not what they once were. Even if I were able to hunt I would still say the time has come for responsible gun control.

E. (Al) Roberts

Durham