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Readers Write: (Aug. 26): Enbridge, oil, Syria, Jeff Bezos, police, guns

  • August 26, 2013 - 8:39 AM

OIL PIPELINE

Don’t trust Enbridge on promise of jobs

An Aug. 23 story gives the idea that a new pipeline through Minnesota would employ as many as 3,000 workers in Minnesota and North Dakota during construction. Union leaders say they support the project. I would like more detail.

According to another article, on July 27, Enbridge was fined $425,000 to settle allegations of illegally dumping water into Minnesota wetlands and rivers while it was testing pipelines. Enbridge does not seem like a company I could put great trust in.

What does “up to 3,000” workers mean? It could be any number from 1 to 3,000. Pipeline companies should know the labor costs of a project. They should be able to give a close figure of how many workers it will take. They should also be able to tell how long these people will be employed. Is it a one-year project or longer? Where will these workers be from? Will Enbridge bring in workers from Canada, or will all of the workers be from Minnesota and North Dakota? I suggest we keep a close eye on things.

JUDITH MOORE, St. Louis Park

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OIL EXPLORATION

Don’t trust airgun blasts in the ocean

The Department of the Interior is considering allowing seismic airgun testing for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean — from Delaware to Florida. This testing involves sending loud blasts of compressed air toward the ocean floor every 10 seconds for days to weeks on end in search of oil and gas deposits.

Worse, the blasts can permanently deafen dolphins and whales and will mask the sounds these animals need to communicate and find food. It’s estimated that seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic could injure or kill 138,500 marine mammals. The noise could drive away fish, hurting East Coast fisheries and coastal economies. The testing also threatens the survival of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, whose nursery lies on the edge of the testing zone.

If offshore oil drilling follows these tests, the Atlantic coast will be at risk of a disaster like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

GEOFFREY SAIGN, St. Paul

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SYRIA

Don’t trust Obama on foreign policy

President Obama’s words mean nothing. Last year, he said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would mean a “red line” situation, requiring a U.S. response. Well, President Assad, the mini Adolf Hitler of Syria, launched a chemical attack anyway, killing hundreds. And the reaction of President Obama? Nothing. Unless you count several speeches telling Assad not to do it again, giving him another “red line” warning.

Now comes word that Assad’s thugs launched another chemical attack this week — this time, using a nerve agent, the deadliest chemical weapon available — killing 1,100 and leaving hundreds of victims gasping for breath in makeshift hospitals.

The time for more talk and continued veiled threats is over. Time to green light the Navy SEALs. Time to take Assad out.

NEIL F. ANDERSON, Richfield

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MEDIA

Don’t trust Bezos or Washington Post

I am not a fan of Jeff Bezos or Amazon. But methinks it is worth paying attention to three news stories in the last couple weeks.

First, Bezos bought the Washington Post. Second, Amazon Web Services scored a $600 million contract to provide cloud services for the CIA. Third, Amazon is now attempting to create a wireless network that would seriously challenge the current providers.

The congruence of these three specific entities is unsettling.

Apparently money can buy anything. Imagine a world where everything you do on your phone or online is available to the CIA, and access to that information is never reported on or questioned by the Washington Post.

Far-fetched? No, not at all.

Oh, wait. Maybe that’s already how it is. In which case, please excuse my concern.

BONNIE HAYSKAR, St. Paul

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LAW ENFORCEMENT

Do trust the work of police officers

Law enforcement careers are not for the meek. Regardless of the emotional makeup of a police officer, he or she must adapt to the mostly negative interaction with the public. Most daily activities and confrontations are resented, rebuked and criticized. Most incidents must be clearly documented for protection from potential litigation. The officer must perform daily tasks with the utmost caution, lest he or she be injured or killed by a criminal suspect.

One must admire the bravery and dedication possessed by these individuals. Yet, public opinion and the media appear to have little or no appreciation for their contribution to society. Police officers are expected to perform their jobs without emotion or reaction. Would it not be reasonable to expect that any person has the right to a breaking point? We seem more concerned about police conduct that criminal conduct.

Don Eisenschenk, Minnetonka

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TRUST GUNS TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE

I realize this will never make it into the paper, since the Star Tribune is so anti-gun, but I will have felt better for speaking my mind. It’s just too bad that Delbert Belton — the 88-year-old World War II veteran who was recently robbed and beaten to death by two punks in Washington state — wasn’t packing a concealed-carry weapon. There is a fair chance he would still be alive today, and maybe one or both those cowards would be in hell instead.

DAVID H. COLBURN, Hayfield, Minn.

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