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Continued: Readers Write: (Aug. 19): Driving after drinking, capitalism, ethanol, Southwest LRT, Vikings stadium

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  • Last update: August 19, 2013 - 6:53 AM

I grow corn and have never lashed out against my friends in the poultry industry. Unfortunately, some poultry farmers are attempting to turn the clock back to $2 corn by attacking ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Fact is, poultry production has increased since the RFS was passed, and the industry is making money. Ethanol has created a new market for corn farmers, which in turn has been good for all of agriculture.

Besides, there’s plenty of corn to feed the world and fuel our cars. The entire Minnesota turkey industry feeds 36 million bushels of corn per year. Corn farmers in Minnesota alone harvested 1.37 billion bushels last year. We also get about 34 pounds of feed as a byproduct whenever 2.8 gallons of ethanol is made from a bushel of corn.

It’s not right for poultry farmers to tell me where I can sell my corn, just as it wouldn’t be right for me to tell them not to sell in certain markets.

JOHN MAGES, Belgrade, Minn.

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Twin Cities & Western intentions are proper

In an Aug. 7 commentary about the Southwest Corridor light-rail project (“We’ve planned enough. It’s time to decide”), Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman wrote, “I believe that Twin Cities & Western Railroad is taking advantage of the conflict between the two cities to advance its own business interests.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

If we were trying to “advance our business interests,” we would insist on enhancements to our current position. We are not. We are only seeking to preserve our existing ability to move freight safely and economically for our customers. That is our obligation under federal law.

TC&W’s issue is not some last-minute gambit. We clearly told project consultants in 2010 that their reroute proposal did not meet long-established railroad safety and operational standards. But, to our dismay, the very same plan appeared in the 2012 draft environmental impact statement. Finally, the project planners have realized that the physics and economics of freight rail do matter and can no longer be ignored.

That being said, we remain ready to cooperate in finding a solution that brings Southwest LRT to life in a way that is compatible with riders, neighbors, bikers, and, of course, TC&W and its customers.

MARK WEGNER; president, TC&W Railroad

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Never cry Wilf …

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