Readers Write: (Jan. 30): State of the Union, mining, school closing, energy shortage

  • Updated: January 29, 2014 - 6:05 PM

Obama’s speech was all about him.

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STATE OF THE UNION

Another example of ‘I’ where it doesn’t belong

The first sentence of the Star Tribune’s Jan. 29 report on President Obama’s State of the Union speech contains a phrase that should alarm every American who believes that our government was founded as a constitutional republic: “President Obama declared independence from Congress on Tuesday …”

Peter D. Abarbanel, Apple Valley

• • •

The president’s speech was pretty much a reflection on the president himself. No new ideas, and no plans for cooperation with the opposition party. While most of the analysts around the country consider the speech an admission of failure by the president, the Star Tribune reports it like it was filled with great expectation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

Larry A. Sorenson, Arlington, Minn.

 

MINING

Trust them? No. We’ve been burned before

At the St. Paul PolyMet hearings on Tuesday evening, company engineers and scientists were reassuring: This Boundary Waters-area mining project is very well-planned and studied and does not present a risk to humans, wildlife, forests or waterways. Pollution will be monitored and controlled for hundreds of years to be sure of this.

So why don’t we have more confidence in these experts? Maybe because we’ve heard it before. We know very well that the best corporate planning often goes wrong, with major environmental consequences. Groundwater carcinogens in our neighborhoods decades after General Mills and 3M dumped contaminates. “Well-built” pipelines breaking and dumping massive amounts of oil into rivers. The BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. Tap water catching fire from fracking pollution. Three hundred thousand West Virginians with no water after a chemical spill.

We’ve been fooled many times by the reassurances of corporations. If we approve this project, we will have been fooled again, with only ourselves to blame.

BRUCE D. SNYDER, Mendota Heights

• • •

Despite the differences in mining iron ore vs. copper, I doubt we would mine our iron ore today, if it were newly discovered, because of intense environmental pressure. To the environmentalists: Alternative energy sources such as wind and solar are heavily dependent on copper. I find it hard to believe we can’t mine safely and find a way to “make money” off pollutants.

DARYL WILLIAMSON, Eden Prairie

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