Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

May 28 letters to the editor

Decision for new trash bins a garbage plan  

Let’s talk trash. Or, more specifically, trash bins.  

We recently had delivered to our driveway a huge Republic trash bin with instructions to place it four feet from parked cars, fire hydrants or recycling bins. By my calculations, that requires 16 feet of frontage to put out trash and recycling. No problem for us, but many of our neighbors with no driveways who park on the street don’t have the space required.  

Empty, the bins are heavy and cumbersome, challenging if not impossible for many to haul to the curb. What happened to “Reduce, reuse, recycle”? It would take us weeks to months to fill one of these bins. I called Republic to ask for a smaller bin but, because of high demand, there is a four to six week wait.  

Wait! Isn’t that an indication that folks don’t want these big bins?  

When I asked how the decision was made for providing these giants, I was told the choice was approved by “our local provider,” so I called MUB and was told it was the city’s decision.  

This is not a “one size fits all” situation. I encourage others to let the city know what they think of the new bins. 

Cindy O’Brien 

What about unfulfilled promise of education? 

The Dominion Post’s editorial (5-25-23) about the need to build the Harmony Grove interchange isn’t wrong. I’m more concerned about the proposed cuts to our state’s flagship university, West Virginia University.  

WVU is the economic engine that powers this county and the entire region. The proposed cuts are particularly insulting when our governor touts his tax cuts as benefiting the economy of the state.  

Professionals throughout the state have degrees from West Virginia University, and the drastic cuts proposed by President Gee and his staff will have a negative outcome for all of West Virginia.  

Why don’t I see more outrage from our local politicians of both parties? And why is the WVU administration not willing to fight for the future of our institution? 

Barry Lee Wendell 

Debt ceiling fight hurts vulnerable people most 

All of the partisan debt ceiling chatter in recent weeks has been tiresome. Does it matter how committed Republican leaders really are to their ideals or if Democrats truly are principled negotiators? More attention should be given to the impact this stunt is having on people who are either experiencing poverty or will be if a resolution is not found soon.  

Too easily, we forget the lives of everyday people depend on congressional decision making. People in vulnerable circumstances especially rely on compassionate leadership for resources that allow them to live with dignity — resources that ensure access to healthy food, safe housing and decent health care.  

Yet, their needs are treated with careless disregard, which is only possible because many in positions of authority carry on as though the disadvantaged among us are solely responsible for their circumstances and somehow deserve this ill treatment. Casting these needs as bargaining chips belies the social, economic and political causes of poverty. It also absolves congressional leaders of the power and responsibility they have to help eradicate it.  

Our country’s economy is being held hostage to punish Americans experiencing poverty. This is far from fair and needs to stop. President Biden and congressional leaders should commit themselves to finding a swift and sensible resolution to this crisis, one that lifts the debt ceiling immediately and rejects any budget cuts that would increase poverty. 

Joanna DiStefano  

Fracking not bringing the money, jobs promised 

Exporting U.S. natural gas will raise ratepayer prices exponentially, yet most U.S. natural gas is slated for export. The Mountain Valley Pipeline, for example, will provide no gas outlets in West Virginia and only one in Virginia. It plans, instead, to connect to the Transco pipeline going to Gulf Coast LNG-export terminals. 

Nevertheless, in a letter urging Biden to approve a four-year extension for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, heavily fossil-fuel-invested West Virginia politicians, Joe Manchin and Shelly Moore Capito, state; “It is imperative that FERC works to accelerate the development of domestic energy infrastructure so that Americans may have access to a reliable and affordable supply of natural gas.” Another signer, Congresswoman Carol Miller, has unabashedly cited the coal and gas industries’ “full support” for her campaign. And President Biden has just approved a crucial permit to fast-track the MVP.  

Since the start of the fracking boom, Ohio’s, Pennsylvania’s and West Virginia’s biggest gas-producing counties have seen declines in jobs and population, according to the Ohio Valley Institute. An MIT study further states that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate increased almost a full percentage point during the natural gas boom, while unemployment fell in 46 other states. Moreover, most fracking jobs created in Appalachia no longer exist.  

Prior to the release of these reports, however, politicians continually assured us fossil fuel projects increase job availability.  

More incredibly, Bloomberg shows that although average gas well production declines by 60% in the first year, extraordinarily generous government subsidies cover the cost. Thus, while more and more gas wells are required to maintain output, this polluting, destructive practice is being supported by taxpayers. 

A nation tied to exporting fossil fuels is not secure — nor is its environment. Instead, that nation is beholden to foreign governments and corporate bottom lines.  

Yet, according to the letter, “The MVP is still subject to ongoing litigation and permit challenges, to the detriment of American consumers, our national security — and the environment.”  

Toxic and rapidly depleted, fossil fuels must be phased out — not enabled! 

Barbara Daniels