‘We’re being led backward’
Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama all supported reducing fossil fuel use through, among other things, increasing automobile fuel economy. In 2011, President Obama announced a rule requiring automakers to develop vehicles that get a fleet-wide average of 54.5 mpg by the year 2025. He made this announcement flanked by 10 car company officials and auto union leaders who fully supported this rule.
Today, the Auto Alliance, the lobbying arm of the car companies, is complaining about this rule they once supported, so President Trump, of course, is now proposing to rescind it. The President’s EPA plans to freeze the average fuel economy at 37 mpg. Moreover, Trump plans to revoke a waiver California was granted to set tougher fuel economy standards because auto pollution is causing their citizens serious health problems.
Thirteen states, including Pennsylvania, have followed California’s lead because they, too, are concerned about poor air quality caused by auto emissions. Obama’s proposed standard would have cut air pollution, reduced dependence on oil, saved us billions at the pump and made our cars cleaner and safer so that they could be sold around the world. What’s not to like?
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While the rest of the world is going full speed ahead transitioning to a low-carbon economy, the Trump administration is doing everything it can to keep us wedded to these dirty fuels that pollute our air, foul our land and water, and keep us beholden to the fossil fuel industry. We’re being led backward. - Bob Potter, Boalsburg, PA
Corridors of power
When we receive a letter from the White House, it is as if a corridor opens to the Capitol and the centers of political power -- a corridor which, opened, recognized you. And this is appropriate because in a democracy, sovereignty is shared and what is in the Capitol is delegated from each of our wills.
Similarly, the newspaper, such as you are reading, now is also such a corridor -- this one between local power and the privacy of the family. It, too, is essential to democracy. Here, there is an editor who judges truth, and the journalists are paid who try to discover it.
The ubiquitous internet competes with the newspaper. But we are all now alarmed at the amount of falsity and misinformation there. For this reason, I have twice written State College Borough Council suggesting that the newspaper should be subsidized like public radio. The corridor between power and privacy must be kept open to truth.
The President’s letter, and this journal are central instruments of democracy. Here, truth flashes; without it, there is darkness; and after darkness comes the tyrant. - John H. Harris, State College, PA
‘Delivered into evil?’
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Most Christians would recognize those words from The Lord’s Prayer. As a Catholic, I’ve probably heard or recited it myself thousands of times.
The recent PA State Attorney General’s Grand Jury report detailing clergy sexual abuse accusations within six dioceses revealed priests from our childhood parishes in Harrisburg and Allegheny County. The AG report released in 2016 detailed similar offenses within our diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
One man’s name appears on multiple pages: 59, 60, 74, 75, 97, 103, 104. By his own testimony to the Grand Jury and that of others, he participated in the cover-up of abusive behavior. To this day he appears on the altar at Our Lady of Victory church.
Although exonerated in the earlier report, Bishop Bartchak is clearly responsible for a similar cover-up in the Erie Diocese, when, as lead investigator into the behavior of Fr. William Presley, he asked Bishop Trautman: “Is it worth the further harm and scandal that might occur if this is all brought up again? … With due regard for the potential for more harm to individuals and for more scandal, should I continue to follow up on potential leads?” (page 86, 87 – Interim Redacted Report)
Sadly, many who believed the ordained clergy were tasked with helping them achieve eternal salvation through adherence to the Ten Commandments were/are, in fact, being failed and let into temptation and delivered into evil. - John & Janice Sherer, State College, PA