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Going green beats damage of fracking

Mayor Rahm Emanuel answers reporter's questions  Thursday news conference. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel answers reporter's questions at a Thursday, news conference. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Updated: March 28, 2013 6:19AM

I can’t help but think all the money invested into fracking would be better served by research and a cleaner more eco-friendly energy resolution. Let’s not forget we are talking about a finite source of energy. It will run out. Conservative politicians are so very concerned about how we will pay for all the debt we are incurring but seem to have a blind eye when it comes to the environment and its natural resources, which are very quickly being used up. For profit. For corporations. How are you going to explain that concept to your grandchildren?

Kevin DeBolt, Oswego

Midway privatization will be done right

To be sure, the City of Chicago is learning important lessons from past privatization agreements (Editorial: “Outfoxed Too Often,” 2/14/13). As Chicago explores the potential for a public-private partnership to manage Midway Airport, both Mayor Emanuel and the Midway Advisory Panel I chair are charged with determining if a suitable contract is possible, one with a sensible transaction structure, and a fair, competitive process that provides taxpayers the best value. Unless and until those concerns are satisfied — no deal.

The city has hired Credit Suisse and Mayer Brown, firms with the experience and skills to go toe-to-toe with any party. The panel will have its own independent adviser to monitor the public’s interest, including upholding the Traveler’s Bill of Rights. The mayor has committed to a 30-day period for City Council and the public to review and comment on a potential deal, and the Panel’s adviser will provide an independent report — time and insight no past Chicago privatization agreement has had. Unprecedented transaction parameters require that the City remain a partner with the private operator over the entire lease, limited to 40 years; and receive payment over time rather than up-front, to align the interests of the city, taxpayers, and the private operators.

We have learned from the past and are committed and are putting the proper safeguards in place to evaluate a Midway proposal on sound economics and good public policy.

Peter Skosey

Executive VP, Metropolitan Planning Council

Chair, Midway Advisory Panel

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