Speak Out 5/1/08

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Watered down

ETHANOL MAY be the cause of recent reports of bad gasoline. Why? Because all underground service-station tanks contain small amounts of water. This level increases when gasoline containing ethanol is added to these tanks. Some ethanol migrates to the water level, resulting in an increased ethanol-water content that is not combustible in car engines. Unless this increased level is properly monitored and handled, the result is more reports of bad gas. This is another case of unintended consequences caused by hastily mandating the use of ethanol in gasoline.

Ethanol boondoggle

ONCE AGAIN columnist Mona Charen misses her mark. The biofuel ethanol has not been promoted by environmentalists or those urging climate protection, most of whom have long argued that it is a boondoggle that will not address the problem of climate change and has a wealth of other problems. Rather, her target should be agribusiness, the distillers such as Archer-Daniels-Midland, the mistaken Corn Growers Association and the Farm Bureau. These are the groups that have promoted corn ethanol at the expense of real solutions.

Building on farmland

SOME PEOPLE are all worried about rising food prices. If you really care about food, you need to stop building new subdivisions on farmland around the world. Most of the cities in the U.S. are built on good farmland near a river or a coast. All of these cities are expanding into surrounding farmland, which means less food can be grown. Does anyone care?

Mold problem

MY THREE roommates and I have been living in a rental property for five months with mold growing in the chronically moist basement. Our landlord has failed to fix the problem. I have tried to get some help by contacting the health department and also Cape Girardeau's inspection services. Both agencies claim no jurisdiction over the mold problem. Because my roommates and I are college students, I am sure the property management company and our landlord don't take us or our mold seriously, but perhaps if the city could figure out whose responsibility it is to assess the problem and even assist us, we wouldn't be writing yet another check for $1,200.

Pardon in order

IF JOSHUA Kezer's innocence is unable to be established because of bureaucratic bungling, Gov. Matt Blunt must issue him a pardon.

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