Renewable energy will claim future
Companies pushing pipelines are trying to protect their high profit margins by locking in low transportation prices as other energy production expenses are expected to rise.
The temporarily thwarted Bluegrass Pipeline, the Keystone XL Pipeline and Kinder-Morgan's attempt to re-purpose an existing pipeline represent corporations transferring the risk of transporting fossil fuels to the public — dangerous moves by a doomed industry.
The future is renewable energy, for many reasons including the advantages of localized generation and transmission. A lot of smallish solar plants like KU is building in Mercer County mean we'll eventually need fewer coal trucks and gas pipelines and less mining and drilling in our watersheds.
Let's not sacrifice private property rights and risk public safety so energy companies can build new pipelines or try dangerous untested uses on existing ones. Instead, government should support renewable energy with tax breaks and investment in renewable energy projects.
Instead of approving risky pipelines (that really only benefit the world's richest companies), let's give tax breaks to windmills and install solar panels on taxpayer-owned buildings. This is no more a war on coal than the wheel's invention was a war on walking or building cars was a war on horses.
In a recent front-page article we were told by Time Warner spokesman Rich Ruggiero that its sports programming surcharge was introduced to more clearly define why cable TV cost so much. Or in his words, "what exactly is driving the costs."
Why not go the step further and give us "a la carte" itemized pricing. If he is so interested in educating us, let's just put it all out there. According to Nielsen the average household watches just 17 channels. That is about 10 percent of the channels the average household receives.
It could be fun, the whole family around the table trying to decide if they should give up Fox News so they can keep MTV and Nickelodeon? Or maybe dump all the shopping channels and pick up BTN and SEC.
Vincent C. Smith
Better under Obama
We were deep in war and depression when Barack Obama became president.
We had 182,000 men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq and now have below 50,000. Thank God, 132,000 precious troops are home.
Kentucky has 500,000 more people covered by some type of health care. Unemployment dropped from near 10 percent to 5.6 percent since 2009.
Corporate profits are up 174 percent; exports, 38 percent.
U.S. auto sales were 17.1 million annually when Clinton left office, 10.1 million in 2009 when Bush left and due to reach 17 million in 2015. Many Kentucky jobs depend on auto-making.
The stock market doubled under Obama; the S&P is up 144 percent. How's your 401(k) or IRA? Bank failures fell from 150 in 2009 to 15 in 2014.
More jobs are available than at any time since 2001. U.S. crude oil production is up 70 percent. Petroleum imports fell 51 percent. Gasoline prices are falling. Home sales and values are up.
The Bush tax cuts of the early 2000s made the rich richer and most people poorer. Eastern Kentuckians suffer high death rates from disease and poverty.
Greed, intolerance and hatred are not in Christ's teachings to love our neighbors.
I respect Obama.
Bob Terrell Sr.
Either Lee Atwater or Karl Rove advised Republicans to take whatever issue they were most vulnerable on and attack their opponent. Classic example: Bush (the younger) going after Al Gore's military record.
I'm surprised more people are not talking about a current example. Republicans accuse Democrats of wanting to redistribute wealth whenever tax code changes are discussed — even though the greatest redistribution of wealth has been going on since the early 1980s.
Look up median income for the bottom 80 percent of wage earners, the percentage of after-tax earnings that business assigns to shareholders, wage increases and capital improvements.
Over the last 40 years, the rewards that went to wage earners from 1945 until the 1980s have been siphoned off and reassigned to the interest earners.
This has not been in response to any greater contribution on their part. Nor have wage earners become less productive (the opposite is true).
Rather it has been decided that the interest-earning class wants more and if it comes at the expense of the wage-earning class, so be it. If someone has the audacity to challenge them, dust off the Rove tactic and accuse others of doing what they have, so successfully, done for 40 years.