Letters to the Editor

Letters: Commissioners lauded for trail vision; We the people own the risk of nuclear power

Commissioners lauded for trail vision

I would like to thank the Centre County Board of Commissioners for moving forward with the possibility of creating the Bellefonte to Milesburg trail. I sincerely hope that this project can be completed. This trail would provide wonderful recreation opportunities for walkers, bikers, runners, fisherman and many more.

Having been a resident of Centre County for the past several years, my only disappointment about relocating to Centre County is the lack of recreational trails like this in our area. I have personally used several other trail systems throughout the state, as well as Ohio and Maryland, and I cannot stress enough what great assets these are, not only in terms of quality of life for residents, but in economic development. The future vision for a larger, and perhaps interconnected, trail system would do wonders for our area and would draw tourism to our great region.

Marcus Englert, Pleasant Gap

We the people own the risk of nuclear power

In the June 26 CDT opinion page, alleged scholar Richard Williams of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, “the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas,” claims that what distinguishes nuclear power in the U.S. versus Russia is ownership of production and risk. It is true that in Russia the state owns production and risk, and this state ownership likely contributed to the Chernobyl disaster and the slowness to respond with evacuations.

But he is mistaken when he claims that in the U.S., the nuclear industry privately owns both production and risk. Because of the potentially disastrous consequences of nuclear power, Congress passed the Price-Anderson Act in 1957 to limit the liability of nuclear power plant owners in the case of a catastrophic accident. While the nuclear industry is required to cover liability up to a point, if liability exceeds the amount in the fund, it is up to Congress to figure out how to pay for the excess. Many expect that it would be paid with public funds.

The Fukushima disaster was estimated to have cost $188 billion dollars. The Price-Anderson fund is estimated to be able to cover $13 billion if such an accident occurred in the U.S. Clearly, the industry does not own most of the risk. We, the public, are covering that. If the industry did have to insure itself, it would further add to the noncompetitive cost of nuclear power.

Andy Lau, State College

Whose side are local representatives on?

State Sen. Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, and state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte, showed whose side they’re on with their shameful attack on Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable.

Benninghoff was one of the House co-sponsors of HB33, which repealed funding for the Commonwealth’s General Assistance program. When the repeal came up in the Senate, Corman shouted over Senator Katie Muth as she tried to read a letter from a recipient of General Assistance into the record. State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, was one of the only local legislators to vote against the shameful attack on the vulnerable.

It shouldn’t be shocking from either Corman or Benninghoff. Both are more interested in carrying water for the Chamber than protecting the most vulnerable and working families: after all, they’ve both sponsored union busting legislation like 2017’s SB166, or “paycheck deception.” Corman is so out of touch that he thinks, as reported by the Centre Daily Times, that a minimum wage in the “mid-8” range would be enough to survive on in Centre County.

As a constituent, I’m appalled at both. We need better representation that will actually prioritize the needs of Centre County’s working families and not the wants of well-heeled donors.

Connor Lewis, State College
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