Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

April 17 letters to the editor

Ward misses mark on energy independence

Last Sunday, Delegate Guy Ward asked us to join him, Gov. Justice and Trump in an effort to regain energy independence that was lost by Biden. Put simply, this is political hogwash.

So-called “energy independence” was lost in the Trump administration’s last year   and continued in the first year of the Biden term (see Robert Rapier’s Forbes article “Surprise! The U.S. is Still Energy Independent”).

I say “so-called” energy independence, because when Ward talks about “energy” he means oil, because America is and has been independent in coal and natural gas for decades. Politicians know this; that’s why they support the Mountain Valley pipeline and talk of selling natural gas to Europe. The recent jump in natural gas prices reflects the European search for non-Russian sources of LGN-natural gas.

Politicians know the price of oil is largely controlled by the OPEC-Plus cartel; the “Plus” includes Russia, and they know that Saudi Arabia is the big dog in this cartel. So as dictators, the Saudi prince and, to a far lesser extent, Putin control the spigot on excess oil in the open market.

OPEC-Plus for the last few years has slowly been closing that spigot with a compensatory slow rise in gasoline prices. Add to this the economic recovery from COVID and the war in Ukraine and you get the cause for the recent spike in gasoline price.

The price jump is not related to any political party. But politicians like Ward scold Biden to open up leasing of federal lands (shorelines). This would have no affect on the current price of gasoline. It’s a separate, long-term issue.

Biden asked OPEC and U.S. producers like Exxon to open the spigot on existing wells, and he got silence or an outright “no.”

What do you think the chances are that Republicans, if elected, can convince OPEC, thousands of U.S. oil companies and millions of stockholders who are overjoyed profits are up? If you believe they can, then I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.   

Robert Shumaker

McKinley’s mailings perfectly reasonable

I am writing regarding the misleading title to last Sunday’s editorial, “Abusing tax dollars for campaign mailings.”

The second paragraph references the fact the mailings are legal, which they are, coming out to the House Appropriations Committee for each member of the House in the Members’ Representational Allowance each year.  The wording the editorial challenges refers to the congressman’s vote for the bill which helped bring $6 billion — which the state of West Virginia would never have had — for roads, bridges and broadband to the state, all sorely in need of repair/upgrade. For this vote, McKinley crossed party lines, but voted for all of his constituents, which is what he has been elected to do.

The way I read the statement is that he is clarifying for these constituents the difference between the two spending bills. There are folks out there who still do not realize there were two separate spending bills. I suppose it could be construed to be “campaign related,” but, again, my take is that it is a clarification of his vote for the infrastructure bill.

If there are issues with what is appropriated to each member of Congress, then, as stated in the editorial, it would be something to be discussed with all of our members of Congress and their respective Appropriations Committees. Revisions as to how the monies can be spent were last completed in 1996, and the most recent report from March 24, is available on the web for Members’ Representational Allowance at sps.fas.org. These mailings are a very small percentage of the actual money allotted to each member of Congress to run their offices in D.C. and in their home districts, as well as travel expenses, etc. There are charts and graphs for the spending history for both the House and the Senate.

As an aside, Mr. McKinley ranks somewhere near the bottom in spending this money. Mr. Mooney is ranked No. 10 in all of Congress, outspending the rest of the West Virginia congressional delegation combined.

Elizabeth Hupp

Why the shortage of cat food, but not dog food?

Will someone please explain to me why no store gets any cat food delivered? There’s always dog food, but the cat food shelves are bare. What’s going on?

I’m able to find other items I need, but every store I go to has no canned cat food at all — and not much dry chow either.

Do they think cats don’t eat? They have particular tastes, while dogs will eat anything (even their own poo!), but cats have special needs.

Please help me get to the bottom of this.

Aurora Lusebrink

Lithium batteries have environmental impact

Are we really concerned about the global effect of fossil fuels? If so, then we will want to be very concerned about the environmental and human health impact of rechargeable lithium batteries and electronic waste.

The environmental cost and impact of lithium mining is far more devastating than fossil fuel mining; however, it only occurs in faraway places, thus not weighing on our environmental morals.

As we drive in our Cadillacs by a stream killed by coal mine acid drainage, we are reminded of our role in killing the stream. Those of us driving by in our Teslas will never see the much more severe environmental damage that we are participating in or the impoverished people poisoned and exploited by lithium mining.

No battery, and that includes lithium, makes electricity. Batteries only store electricity that has been produced elsewhere — meaning, (most likely) a coal, gas, oil or nuclear power plant. Very little is generated from wind or solar so far. For now, lithium batteries and their automobiles are doing far more damage to our environment.

Morgantown should embrace the idea of a lithium-ion manufacturing facility with science-based caution.

Leonard George
Star City