Obama to give states power on car emissions | Jan. 26, story
U.S. should have one emissions standard
It was enlightening to read that President Obama is reversing the Bush administration policy on automobile emission standards proposed by California and 13 other states in their quest for stricter regulations. However, should this be a choice?
Auto emissions account for more than one-fifth of greenhouse gases blamed for heating the atmosphere and contributing to global warming. So why it is that emission control should remain a choice for only the states that choose to be concerned about it? Seems to me that there should be no options in this critical issue!
The auto industry lobbied hard against California with support of Bush, claiming that they would have to make two sets of vehicles, one to meet the strict standards of California and the other 13 states, and another that could be sold in the rest of the states. This is not only nonsense but proof of how the Bush administration catered to big business.
Global warming is a very serious problem. There should be no choice by states to set their own pollution rules and there should be no option for the auto industry to produce different types of fuel-efficient vehicles causing unenforceable environmental laws pertaining to certain states.
President Obama should insist that only one environmental standard be met and enforced for the entire country and that the auto industry begin retooling to meet this standard for all states.
There are some issues that affect every American in this country, and I hope President Obama has the foresight to differentiate what is essential for the welfare of all Americans vs. the welfare of big business and, most importantly, not by the states they reside in.
Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City
Obama to give states power on car emissions Jan. 26, story
Creating a nightmare
for American automakers
President Obama is keeping a campaign promise to extremists in the environmental movement, and will surely drive the final nail into the coffins of the Detroit automakers.
The EPA, under former President George W. Bush, had successfully blocked individual states from adopting unique clean-air standards, under the belief that allowing each state to have its own specifications would create a nightmare scenario for U.S. automakers.
Since the 1960s, tailpipe emissions have been dramatically reduced through the adoption of costly design changes that also achieved the unlikely dream of more power, better drivability and greater fuel efficiency.
The cost of achieving those goals was enormous and now states such as California want to block the sale of cars not meeting even more stringent requirements. In addition, by allowing individual states to adopt their own unique standards, industry officials insist that their job potentially gets 50 times more complicated and more costly.
The Big 3 may be in need of a bigger bailout.
Jim Parker, Lakeland
I am totally infuriated by the selection and approval of Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary.
How can the new administration, which offered "change," put a "tax avoider" in the position that controls the IRS?
Perhaps the public's reaction should be for all of us to not understand and therefore not pay estimated taxes unless or until we receive a federal job opportunity and then hope for a "settlement" and forgiveness for the hiccup (along with the appointment).
Robert Landman, Dunedin
Office knew of missing ballots | Jan. 27, story
Where's the investigation?
In the continuing saga of Buddy Johnson, the St. Petersburg Times reports his office knew of missing ballots from Temple Terrace. This sadly is the latest evidence of incompetence, if not criminal wrongdoing, under former Supervisor of Elections Johnson.
The litany of questionable misdeeds by Johnson reads like a never ending story. They include uncounted ballots, a sweetheart deal for Kathy Harris keeping her employed until May 2009, delinquent property taxes, agricultural tax exemptions saving him $12,000 a year on his property taxes, avoidance of a process server, unpaid bills due Premier Election Solutions, double dipping on travel expenses, and the payment of hush money to Steve Holub.
All of these seem to beg for a complete investigation into Johnson's conduct while in office. The only question that remains is why such an investigation hasn't begun.
Sebastian Pasco, Tampa
For a new generation, inspiration denied Jan. 24, Susan Estrich column
A better inspiration
Liberal columnist Susan Estrich has decried the demise of Caroline Kennedy's prospects to become a New York senator. She lamented that Kennedy could have been an inspiring example for young girls. Here is my take on that:
Mommy, who is that lady?
Why, that is Sen. Caroline Kennedy.
Mommy, can a woman become senator?
Yes she can, dear. Women can do anything that men can do.
Oh goody. But, mommy, how did she get to have a place in the Senate?
Why, a man gave it to her.
And, mommy, who is that other lady over there?
Why, that is that mean old governor, Sarah Palin.
And how did she get to be governor? Did a man give it to her?
Uh. Well, no. She served on a PTA, then got elected as a mayor, then served in state government, and then ran an election campaign for governor and won.
Then, mommy, isn't she an even better example for girls than Caroline Kennedy?
Let's go, dear. And stop asking such silly questions.
Robert Arvay, Tampa
Stilettos on the sidelines | Jan. 24, story
Too much trash
I'm so angry that you give free advertising on the front page for lap dancing for entertainment during the Super Bowl. It's against the law and yet you promote this.
Tampa has so much to offer visitors. Why promote the seedy part of life? I'm so disappointed in you.
Pat Osdras, Dunedin