Good to see Tennessee and Utah bring back “Ol’ Sparky,” the electric chair, even when the lethal poison injection is almost just as good, as well as the firing squad. When a rabid dog attacks and kills grandma and eats two of her grandchildren, you don’t coddle the dog and see to it that she lives out her life in the dog pound jail in luxury, getting three good meals a day, air conditioning, rec room activities and Frisbee-chasing in the park, etc. You put her to death.
If Utah and Tennessee can’t find someone to pull the switches, all they have to do is let me know. I’ll even pay my own way as long as I get the discounted airline tickets and frequent mileage programs. I will insist on at least 10 switches to pull, with only one of the switches being the hot one.
Unfortunately, generations born post D-Day, especially the latest, fail to grasp the significance of this great military sacrifice, in blood and treasure. Failure was not an option since it would have triggered a positive consideration for using the atomic bomb in Western Europe to end the long dark night of national socialism, and thus irrevocably changing the world — forever.
James J. Harkins IV
Sun City Center
Florida needs to be heard
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced its climate change strategy to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030 pursuant to a seldom-used provision in the Clean Air Act Section 111(d). This section allows the states to implement their own plan to reduce emissions. States can provide less stringent standards and longer compliance time lines, thereby creating a “blurred line” — where the federal jurisdiction ends and the state’s jurisdiction begins.
The success of the Clean Air Act rests on cooperative federalism — the distribution of power between the federal government and the states whereby each recognizes the powers of the other. In the next year, the public, states and interested entities can provide comment on these “blurred” jurisdictional lines. This discourse will raise interesting debates over legal and policy issues related to the EPA’s ability to regulate emissions “inside the fence” versus “beyond the fence” — the fence separating the public from the actual site of the power plants.
Florida must participate in this debate.
Florida is the third-largest energy-consuming state in the nation, and soon to become the third most populous state, further driving more energy consumption to meet our air-conditioning needs. Florida is almost 90 percent reliant on fossil fuels for low-cost electricity, and will be impacted by the consequences of emission reduction strategies. Because Florida is almost entirely surrounded by water, sea level rise is a critical part of our environmental concern. Thus, Florida cannot be a passive participant in the climate change debate. Rather, we must vigorously use all the tools in the toolbox to provide electricity in the most environmentally sensible manner, and at the same time at the lowest possible cost.
To balance its objectives, the EPA will hold a 120-day comment period that will include public hearings beginning the week of July 28 in Denver, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh. I hope to see Florida officials and many of you there.
Jeremy Lawton Susac
The writer is an environmental attorney with Berger Singerman.
Cold, hard facts
A writer recently claimed that President Obama’s executive decision to exchange Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five high-level terrorists compares favorably to President Bush’s “executive decision” to go to war in Iraq. He wonders why “the country goes nuts.”
Let’s examine the facts. Obama acted by executive decision in secrecy without notifying Congress as required by law. Bush acted lawfully. He obtained the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002,” a joint resolution passed by Congress in October 2002 as Public Law No. 107-243.
Obama acted unilaterally without support of Congress or the defense or intelligence communities. Bush assembled an Iraq war coalition of 49 nations participating in the use of force against the tyrannical Saddam Hussein regime.
These are the cold, hard facts. But the real reason the country is going nuts is because of the dubious value of exchanging five senior terrorists dedicated to doing harm to the U.S. for one soldier of questionable character.