Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five


The Baltimore Sun

Pipeline is safe way to transport fuel

The Sun's article on the proposed Eastern Shore Energylink Expansion (E3) project makes a number of claims that need to be clarified ("Pipeline sparks growth fears," June 22).

The need for the E3 natural gas pipeline is already here. Our proposal comes in response to existing demand for gas on the Eastern Shore.

It is not an effort to spark growth.

The article also focuses considerable attention on environmental concerns.

My company has hired outside experts with considerable environmental experience on such projects. Their collective conclusion is that the E3 project will, at most, have a minimal and temporary environmental impact.

A pipeline under a body of water is not a new concept.

In fact, as the article notes, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are "criss-crossed with buried sewer, water, gas and communications lines," and gas pipelines run under numerous bodies of water throughout the United States, including the Potomac and Patuxent rivers.

I also want to make clear that the E3 pipeline will transport natural gas in its natural, gaseous state.

The E3 pipeline will not be carrying oil or liquefied gas.

Natural gas is the cleanest-burning and most efficient fossil fuel and one of the most environmentally friendly fuels.

The U.S. pipeline infrastructure, which includes 1.4 million miles of natural gas pipelines, is the nation's safest energy delivery system, according to U.S. government statistics.

Additionally, for the last four years, Eastern Shore Natural Gas Co. has been nationally recognized by the American Gas Association for its safe practices.

As the only interstate pipeline company supplying natural gas to the Delmarva region, we are proud of our record of being a good neighbor to the communities we serve.

Stephen C. Thompson

Dover, Del.

The writer is president of Eastern Shore Natural Gas Co.

Tossing pants lawsuit a victory for justice

Congratulations to District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff on her ruling that Administrative Law Judge Roy L. Pearson could not hold his dry cleaner liable for $54 million in damages for temporarily misplacing a pair of pants ("D.C. dry cleaner wins pants case," June 26).

Lawsuits such as this make a mockery of our judicial system - and all the more so when they are brought by a member of that system.

Abusive lawsuits should not be allowed by anyone, and judges have full discretion to throw them out when the claims are so outrageous.

Another remedy for such abusive lawsuits would be to make our legal system more like the English system.

In England, the loser of a lawsuit pays not only his or her attorney's fees but the winner's attorney's fees as well.

If that were the case here, those willing to sue over frivolous matters might think twice before clogging up our courts with nonsense.

Michael Connell


Cheney leads effort to hide from public

Just like any other elected official, Vice President Dick Cheney is accountable to the people. But it is amazing the lengths his office will go to in order to avoid the government's normal safeguards ("White House defends Cheney on protecting classified data," June 23).

One can see Mr. Cheney's hands all over Bush administration policies that involve unnecessary secrecy.

A government that is not open is not effective.

And you can't promote democracy abroad while trying to crush aspects of it at home.

Steven M. Clayton

Ocean, N.J.

Where's the outrage on Cheney's secrecy?

Why has there been so little protest over Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that he is not required to turn his papers over to an office of the National Archives because his office is not part of the executive branch ("White House defends Cheney on protecting classified data," June 23)?

Is this just a ploy for Mr. Cheney to delay turning over more incriminating evidence about his mishandling of his responsibilities?

And where is the outrage?

Margaret F. Ingram


President protects rights of the unborn

Thank God for President Bush's moral courage in protecting the right of the unborn to live ("Stem cell veto spurs Md. alarm," June 21).

The destruction of human life for any research purpose is immoral. And, contrary to the slant of The Sun's article, the president does support stem cell research other than research on embryonic stem cells that involves the destruction of human life.

The howls that medical progress toward finding cures for diseases will come to a grinding halt without embryonic stem cell research are completely without basis.

Huge amounts of federal and state money are spent on various types of stem cell research that do not rely on the destruction of human life.

Several types of stem cells can be obtained without further destruction of human life. And a set of embryonic stem cell lines exists.

Umbilical cords also provide a rich source of stem cells.

In a recent article in the journal Nature, scientists announced that they have successfully converted adult mice skin cells into cells identical to embryonic stem cells.

Let's focus our energy, advocacy and money on pursuing moral and scientifically sound medical research instead of wasting energy on the anti-life rhetoric and rancor involved in insisting that the destruction of human life is the only way to find a "silver bullet" cure for many diseases.

Robert Ryczak

Bel Air

Hippies lacked unity of a real movement

Larry Atkins' commemoration of the hippie "movement" and culture oversimplifies a complex historical phenomenon ("Hippies' proud legacy: peace, love, activism," June 21).

When it became common, the label "hippie" attempted to encapsulate an existing youth culture of the mid-1960s. But like all labels, it tends to obfuscate as much as clarify.

To call this culture a "movement" implies a direction and unity that didn't exist.

One of its core values among the hippies was an individualism and rejection of authority that made any cohesive action highly improbable.

To say that the hippies "spawned" the environmental movement gives them too much credit and neglects other, more pertinent factors in the rise of green consciousness.

And while saying that "hippie culture is often commercialized" is accurate, stressing this ignores the symbiotic relationship between commerce and any modern cultural phenomenon, including the hippies.

John Bailey


What will replace Eisenberg's column?

I read with disappointment that John Eisenberg has written his last sports column ("As column concludes, thanks for memories," June 24).

Does this mean that he will be replaced by what now seems to be The Sun's primary writer: "From wire services"?

James B. Kenney


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