Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Dec. 24 letters to the editor

Club wants to hang banners of veterans

The local GFWC Mountaineer Woman’s Club, part of the national General Federated Woman’s Club, is a civic organization that has interests in public affairs, arts and culture, the environment and education.

Our focus for this two-year period has been on HEROES, mainly military veterans. We are asking for your help with one of our projects.

I am sure that you have seen other cities honor their veterans by lining their streets with banners displaying a veteran’s picture and military status. We would like to see one or two of Morgantown’s streets lined with these banners.

The ideal location for them would be one or two of the more heavily traveled streets entering the city. After consulting with the city engineer, he recommended that we select University Avenue and Don Knotts Boulevard.

The cost of the banner and installation equipment is $200 for a 24-inch-by-48-inch banner, appropriate for positioning on a utility pole. Our goal is to have them installed by May 1, 2024, in time for local graduations. They would then remain up for Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, Labor Day and Veterans Day. Since they are of heavy vinyl, they could remain hung for three continuous years. After the third year, the banner could be returned to the purchaser. Our banners would read “Monongalia County proudly honors ….”

The Morgantown City Council and Monongalia County Commission are in full support of the project.

 Do you have a friend or family member, alive or deceased, that you would like to honor? An application form, which may be duplicated, can be found on our Facebook page at “GFWC Mountaineer Womans Club.” The deadline for applications, accompanied by payment and a clear photo of the veteran, is Feb. 14, 2024.

Fay Massullo
Mountaineer Woman’s Club president

Capito changing her tune on carbon capture tech

Carbon capture and storage, as Sen. Shelley Moore Capito points out in her letter urging the EPA to scrap President Biden’s Clean Power Plan (DP-12-20-23), is not advanced enough to achieve the plan’s objectives. She is right — the technology is neither adequately demonstrated nor commercially available. Further, the needed pipeline infrastructure does not exist.

Yet Sen. Capito was thrilled to announce in October that West Virginia had been selected as one of the seven regional hydrogen hubs to receive $925 million in federal funding to produce hydrogen energy from fracked gas through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This process will rely on carbon capture and storage to qualify for the funding. The Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2) will consist of hydrogen pipelines, fueling stations and permanent CO2 storage in West Virginia. Apparently, carbon capture and storage is great when it brings almost a billion in federal dollars to our state but is an unproven and uneconomic technology when it applies to the EPA’s clean energy policies. Which is it?

Carbon capture and storage is an unproven technology that only serves to keep polluting power plants running at great expense to ratepayers. The obvious solution is to not create the carbon dioxide in the first place. Investment in solar and wind energy will bring a much bigger bang for our buck rather than the untested and expensive carbon capture.

Betsy Lawson

Abortion a moral, not a political issue

The editorial “Pro-life politicians sell a fantasy. Here’s reality” (DP-12-14-23) misses the true reality.

First, I personally have never heard a pro-life politician, or anyone else for that matter, make the outrageous claims alleged in the editorial.

The true reality that the editorial misses is that abortion is a moral, not political, issue. Science has shown that a fetus is in every respect a baby with a heartbeat detectable within three weeks of conception. However, if the baby is not wanted, the fetus is just a fetus, disposable at will, even in the third term of pregnancy.

The editorial ignores that fact and concentrates on those perceived mean, pro-life politician “salesmen.” To be sure, complicated pregnancies present difficult challenges that must be worked out in legislation. However, it is essential that the immorality of abortion be our primary consideration in any legislation.

Rather than flay at pro-life politicians, it would be better to denounce doctors who smother babies born live after a botched abortion. Sadly, that is also reality. When is a baby not a baby? When does a baby become a person deserving the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? We must make that decision with clear consciences, not political persuasions.

Chuck Maggio

‘Carbon footprint’ a way to keep track of our use

Last Sunday’s paper (DP-12-17-23) included several stories about climate change. Regarding COP28, Evan Hansen going there as a delegate is an important chance to influence climate policy, and I hope Mr. Hansen’s trip will get some investment in renewable energy for West Virginia.

However, there is a level of absurdity in about 80,000 people flying to Dubai to advocate for the climate, particularly to discuss using less fossil fuels. However, some representation by environmentalists was essential, so I am glad Mr. Hansen went.

But how do we get to using less fossil fuel?

The Bloomberg columnist, Mark Gongloff, mentioned the eternal bogeyman Walmart but ended up illustrating the role Walmart has played in responsible reductions in energy use.

 If you go to the local Walmart stores, you can see the lights are dimmed so they are less harsh and use less energy. Walmart is getting a makeover so you can actually buy things you want instead of cheap junk, which helps the climate as well. Walmart is also investing in solar power as well as other renewables. Hopefully, Walmart can convert its supply chain towards electric power, using electric trucks to move cargo, etc.

Another bogeyman referenced was “carbon footprint.” I fondly remember a TV show featuring a homeless man claiming he shouldn’t be collared by the police because of his low carbon footprint. Carbon footprint might seem like the fever dream of an oil and gas baron designed to distract the masses from the real cause of climate change, but a good idea is a good idea no matter what. Carbon footprint provides us a way of self-evaluating our impact on the planet, whether that be through climate change or, with a little adjustment, plastic pollution.

So, when the most interesting man in the world says “keep thirsty, my friend,” I say to keep educated, learn about the causes and solutions for climate change and other environmental issues and pay attention.

Steven Knudsen