Regarding: "Sustaining Superfund" (March. 5, Editorial): Having been involved with the cleanup of more than 600 sites, I believe it was a mistake to ever have increased the funding for the Superfund.
Previously, most cleanup sites were private concerns or insurance claims with limited funding. Too much money involved will only result in a significant amount of wasted funds.
The EPA, as a government entity, falls under political will and thereby wastes money through postponing action. Several EPA sites that I worked on were neglected because funding kept being shuffled among sites. This neglect caused contamination to migrate even farther, and required more investigation. The EPA should be taken out of the hands of the government and controlled by an independent council.
Most companies assume that it is enough to have a designated cleanup site, and that regulations will not be enforced. Enforcement of regulations will eliminate most, if not all, long-lasting cleanup sites. With proper, timely enforcement, major cleanups can be kept to a minimum.
Regarding "Forces of faith enter fray over energy policy" (Feb. 27): Your article is an encouraging sign that sanity may prevail and that drilling may not be conducted in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. It amazes me that political pressure must be brought in order for science and people's concerns to be registered by those empowered to determine national policy. Let's hope the Senate is listening and will end this obsession with drilling in national parks.
Regarding "Steeled against tariffs" (March 1, Editorial): Speaking as the wife of a steelworker, I think President Bush's idea of increasing tariffs on imported steel is of significant importance. More than a few thousand jobs would be affected by the loss of this industry in our country. We have already become so dependent on foreign imports that we can't allow ourselves to be dependent on foreign countries for our steel as well. Independence is the foundation on which our nation was created.
When thinking through these issues, we must also consider the communities in which these steel companies exist. What will happen to local restaurants, the grocers, the schools, the tax base of the cities? To many people, this is trivial - to me it's existence.
Granite City, Ill.
Regarding: "9/11 depictions: cathartic or exploitive?" (March 5): Up until two weeks ago, I lived just 500 feet from the World Trade Center. I have considered going to "The Guys" many times in the past few weeks, especially to show my support for the downtown arts scene. I praise the producers, writers, and actors for being able to create this story and relive it several times a week. Personally, I'm not ready. But "The Guys" has as much right to be on stage as CBS has to air its Sept. 11 documentary. I agree with Joshua Miller: If the show is too painful to watch, then don't.
The Sept. 11 events should be shown for the very reason some people don't want to see it. We want to forget it, we want to pretend it never happened. We don't want to believe anyone exists who could do such a thing. But the more we are forced to face evil, no matter the motives of those who produce it, the more we will try to prevent its consequences.
West Des Moines, Iowa
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