Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Letters to the editor April 5

| April 5, 2021 12:00 AM

McGrew and Losleben for WFSA

Last year, the current Whitefish Fire Service Area Board caused widespread stress and concern for those owning property in the Whitefish Fire Service Area when it discussed a proposal to replace the full-time and professional firefighters at the Whitefish Fire Department (which currently provides fire and EMT services to the Whitefish Fire Service Area) with a volunteer fire department.

At its March 16 board meeting, the WFSA Board raised exploring this idea again as early as 2023. This is a public safety issue. For anyone with property in the WFSA who wants to continue receiving fire and EMT services from the professional career firefighters at the Whitefish Fire Department, I invite them to vote for Ed McGrew and George Losleben in the upcoming Whitefish Fire Service Board election. Ed McGrew is a Whitefish businessman who has lived in the Whitefish area nearly 20 years and George Losleben, born and raised in Montana, is a retired attorney. Both are committed to retaining the professional fire and EMT services of the Whitefish Fire Department for the WFSA, rather than shifting to a volunteer fire department.

—Mike Frost, Whitefish

The Grievance Party

What does the Republican governor of Texas do when their deregulated, privatized, for-profit energy grid system fails in a predictable cold snap which led to misery and deaths? Why, like the good GOP Trumper he is, Gov. Greg Abbott blamed it on wind turbines and took a poke at the Green New Deal. (An effective GOP strategy: stoke the culture wars).

He neglected to mention that Texas’s utilities were warned to winterize their power sources-mostly natural gas-back in 2011, during another cold snap and grid failure-but didn’t bother. You see, this would have been expensive and cut into the profits of the GOP’s oil and gas barons — major donors to Abbott and company. North Dakota’s winterized wind turbines work fine all through the epic cold our neighbor state is known for. Nor were Texas utilities required to store fuel as backup in case of a cold snap and frozen pipes. (Currently the natural gas is left in the ground and delivered to utilities via pipelines in a “just-in-time” system). It doesn’t take a genius to predict what would happen if all those pipes froze, which they did. Even squirrels are smarter than the Republicans running Texas.

Texas Republicans have run the state for two decades. They created this mess to avoid federal regulation. It worked OK — until it didn’t.

The utilities raked in windfall profits thanks to the “free market” of Texas energy. (Consumers hit with astronomical electric bills, not so well). Oh, and the state is now asking for federal emergency funds, courtesy of us, the taxpayers. This scam is known as “privatizing the gains” and “socializing the losses.”

—George Mclean, Kalispell

Same-sex unions

The Pope retracted his acceptance of gay unions one month after instituting it. Apparently, he had a revelation or else a confrontation from some irate Cardinals.

Despite his conviction, and despite Elton John, he felt obligated to re-evaluate his infallibility, or perhaps read the Bible, where 2/3 of it declares gay unions prohibited. Even the first chapter of Romans is very clear on this issue.

We Americans think we have a monopoly on senile leaders, but we should be humble enough to understand mental illness can effect anybody.

—Mike Donohue, Kalispell

True compromise

In his March 4 letter in the Daily Inter Lake, James Malone rightly asks Montana’s Congressional delegation to reach across the aisle. He is also right that limiting and reducing dependence on petroleum requires long-term planning and building of infrastructure.

It is certainly possible to make a list of partisan issues and demand compromise on them but that isn’t likely to result in forward movement. It is also possible to create a list of goals which are bipartisan and amendable to a collaborative congressional strategy.

One such goal is emphasized by Mr. Malone – that of ensuring energy independence. Our country has for decades made self-destructive foreign policy decisions because we are still bound to the world’s fossil fuel commodity market and the export and import of vital energy resources.

Unlike oil and natural gas, renewable energy is neither imported nor exported to a significant degree. Switching to a mix of mostly renewables between now and 2050 supports this bipartisan goal of energy independence in a way that is economically sound. A low carbon tax that rises over time would create a market-based incentive that leverages American innovation and jobs and that appeals to both parties. Returning the tax collected equally to all Americans helps us all by investing back into our nation’s families.

The carbon dividend strategy is a means to common goals. This is true compromise. Evidence supports that reliance on well-planned sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind and water, is realistic and viable. But we need to all work together for success. Senator Daines, Senator Tester and Representative Rosendale – please work together to plan our energy infrastructure in a way that truly protects the security of our future.

—Walter Rowntree, Kalispell

Vaccine kudos

What a wonderful job by all involved at the Grouse Mountain Lodge vaccination site. Professional, fast, and friendly. Could not have asked for a more rewarding experience.

—Rick Dixon, Columbia Falls