Letters to the Editor

Pipeline Debate Continues

Dear Editor:  I must take issue with Rosa Cerrato’s comments (March 21) that opposition to the Keystone Pipeline “is based on environmental studies that do not report the whole truth” and with The New York Times’ published study “stating the pipeline will not damage the environment.”

I would suggest that she read some of the reports published by EarthJustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy and other environmental groups. These well-researched studies done by prominent scientists in the fields of geology, ecology and environmental studies may help her develop a better understanding that the underlying issues involved in this project are not wholly political.


Editor’s Note: Margaret Riconda worked as a geologist for almost 30 years.

Dear Editor: I am never surprised by the continuing onslaught of opinions that are based on misinformation, dislike and outright propaganda rather than facts.

It is preposterous to claim that Obama’s veto of the Keystone Pipeline was about his political control of Washington. A veto is a Constitutional right granted to all presidents from the founding of the Republic. Ronald Reagan used the veto 78 times; George H.W. Bush 44 times; and Bill Clinton 37 times. Obama has used it three times, hardly an attempt for political control of Washington.

Another claim is that the pipeline would create hundreds of thousands of jobs. These companies always use this attractively sounding argument but the jobs rarely materialize. Forbes magazine (May 10, 2013) placed the range of newly created construction jobs between about 5,000 to 20,000, a sad fraction of the “hundreds of thousands” of jobs to be created. And once the pipeline is built, the jobs disappear but we are stuck with the pollution.

But the most pernicious and troubling claim is that the president and his party is committed to destroying our faith. This saddens me greatly. A simple review of budget priorities, which is far, far more important than any single issue, illustrates the main priorities of each party. The GOP plans to eliminate Obamacare, which would leave millions uninsured. The GOP also wants to slash funding for Medicare, Social Security and Disability.

If we read the Bible, we learn that Jesus made taking care of and healing the sick, elderly, powerless and the marginalized a main priority. I cannot understand why any Catholic would oppose these programs on moral grounds when, in fact, Jesus showed us by His example how important this was.

Pope Francis is getting us back on course so we focus on the things that matter – to Jesus. But if we are stuck in the myopic land of abortion (although important) and birth control, we lose sight of the suffering, poor, disabled, elderly and needy who are right in front of us, begging us for our assistance.


Editor’s Note: James Tartamella is a member of the diocesan Lay Ministry Program, Class of 2017.