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Rep. Kinzinger is wrong on Keystone pipeline

Updated: March 17, 2013 5:37PM

I have to take issue with Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s opinion piece in Saturday’s paper. His “facts” are a work of fiction. Rep. Kinzinger states reduced oil production on federal lands is because of a “burdensome and inefficient web of regulations.” He goes on to state that “oil production on non-federal lands grew by 1.1 million barrels per day, but on U.S. federal lands, production decreased by 7 percent.” In fact, oil production from federally owned lands has increased every year since 2008. The boom in production in the U.S. is because of the shale basins outside of federal lands. Here, geology favors non-federal land owners.

I also would like to know what kind of mental gymnastics Rep. Kinzinger had to do to come to the conclusion that Canadian tar sands oil, the dirtiest and costliest to extract oil out there could possibly be called “domestic”? Last time I checked, Canada is not the United States. Construction jobs that would be created all would be temporary. Once the pipeline is completed, all of those jobs would be gone. Furthermore, all analysis that I have read have indicated the Keystone pipeline would raise gas prices in the Midwest because it would divert refined fuel pipelines going into the Midwest only to reverse the flow heading for the refineries.

The environmental and health concerns far outweigh any so-called benefit the Keystone pipeline would bring. What we need is a discussion of facts and a well-informed electorate. The facts do not align with Rep. Kinzinger’s position.

Dave Atkins,


Outrageous corporate pay

Boeing’s CEO James McNerney got a 20 percent raise in 2012 to $27.5 million, that we know of, even though the full fleet of 787 Dreamliners was grounded because of battery problems. Boeing still reported $81.7 billion in 2012 revenue — I wonder what his employees earn.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s compensation fell 29 percent to $20.95M in 2012. I hope they don’t think any of us are going to feel sorry for him. Certainly not while he is receiving close to $700K in ‘other’ compensation. Ford reported billions in pretax profit in 2012 — all this while the middle-class is suffering job losses and cuts in pay. Republicans still try to justify destroying Social Security and Medicare so that the wealthy don’t have to pay their fair share in taxes.

Ann M. Gutierrez, Bridgeport

Dangerous point of view

Congressman Adam Kinzinger’s op-ed in favor of the pipeline is wrongheaded and dangerous.

Kinzinger reminds us that gas was once $2 a gallon. So what? As a kid I saw gas for 28.9 cents a gallon. But in those days we didn’t know that fossil fuels were poisoning the climate. He writes as if climate change did not exist, when it is an enormous and growing issue.

Here is what the pipeline boils down to: Help Canadian fossil fuel companies to turn an area the size of Wisconsin into a poisoned wasteland. Ship the extra-dirty oil across the U.S., right across one of our main aquifers, where it has the possibility of poisoning agriculture. Send it to the Gulf Coast, making it easy to refine and send to other countries. Wherever it is burned, it will add to disastrous climate change.

What is the point of a pipeline? To move stuff without workers. What is the point of getting to the Gulf Coast? So the refined oil can go to other countries, if that is where the profit is. Even if climate change were not an issue, the pipeline would be useless for jobs and useless for our supply of gasoline.

President Barack Obama is right to say we should get off oil. Too bad his proposals are so timid, and he may well approve this disastrous pipeline. (The most distinguished climate scientist in the world, James Hansen, has described the pipeline as “game over” for the climate.)

We should be moving heaven and Earth to get off fossil fuels. For a start, we need a carbon tax, to make burning the stuff more expensive. Tax carbon and rebate the money to people, so those who conserve carbon end up ahead, and so, when we see the real costs of carbon, we see that renewable energy is much more economical.

Doug Burke, Oak Park

Company snubs worker after long career

When I wake up and read about politicians and their bickering over the budget, I get angry not because of them, but about the treatment retired people like myself get form former employers.

I was forced to retire because of o a disability. I was a machinist for almost 40 years. Rheumatoid arthritis made me unable to continue working. I live with it with no regrets. I wish I could understand why the corporation I gave over 37 years of service to has brushed me off.

My record shows I was terminated because of the work rules. I was on disability for more than one year and therefore was terminated. I received no sendoff or any other acknowledgment of my contributions to their corporate profits. I only get a monthly bill for insurance benefits.

All to many people have the same thing happen to them. Why? Is being physically unable to continue making money for the corporation a reason to be ignored? I would like to know how others feel.

Wayne R. Miller, Bolingbrook

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