Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

November 9, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 11/09/2013

Change redistricting

It was interesting to note in Phil Power’s Oct. 24 column about gerrrymandering districts in Michigan that congressmen Amash and Bentivolio are both from such districts. The previous day Froma Harrop’s syndicated column cited how gerrymandering is being overcome in several states, predominantly California. In 2008 and 2010 California voters passed measures that took districting out of the hands of politicians such as Amash. So did Iowa, Washington, Arizona and Idaho.

What Michigan needs is some person or organization to spearhead a state vote to establish a redistricting law such as California’s. Can Power find someone to do this? Can we get this on the ballot for 2014? I certainly would support this.

Emil L. Martinec

Traverse City

Support carbon fee

My father, a mechanical engineer who designed oil pipelines, turns 92 this month. His hard work provided my generation with comforts not imaginable to him as a child.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change attributes climate disruption, with 95 percent certainty, to human activities such as burning fossil fuels. These fuels are responsible for an increased incidence of allergies, asthma, lung and heart disease, and some cancers. As the climate warms, the demographics of infectious disease will change. Water and food scarcity will compound negative health effects.

A recent op-ed by Elizabeth Dell describes a revenue-neutral fee on carbon which would allow a free-market transition from fossil fuels to renewables without increasing the size of government. Monthly rebate checks would protect low- and middle-income families during the transition. This reminds me of the tax on cigarettes to offset the negative health effects of smoking.

Professors from Stanford and University of California Davis have described how renewable energy can power much of our current comforts. Only political will is lacking.

Representative Benishek, it is time to support a revenue-neutral fee on carbon. It would honor our parent’s generation and provide opportunities to future generations.

Elizabeth A. Del Buono

Traverse City

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