LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The Baltimore Sun

Balto. Co. LNG depot is well worth the risks

As The Sun's editorial "LNG not risk-free" (March 3) notes, the need for liquid natural gas is "clear enough."

AES Corp. has proposed to bring more natural gas to Maryland by importing it in liquid form (LNG) to an industrial location on the Sparrows Point peninsula, converting it back to its gaseous state, then delivering it to the interstate pipeline system that serves Maryland and neighboring states.

More natural gas in Maryland means lower costs for the gas itself and lower electricity costs.

And unlike propane or other liquid gases that are routinely transported throughout Maryland by rail, truck and other means, LNG is not pressurized.

In its liquid state, it cannot explode and it does not burn.

The safety of the process will be maintained, first, by acting to prevent disruptions of LNG shipments and, second, by the distance the LNG is kept from populated areas.

These factors were considered by the U.S. Coast Guard in its recent report, which identified the means for preventing disruptions ("LNG security questioned," Feb. 28).

AES Corp. expects to fully implement these procedures and cover appropriate costs for them, without relying on Maryland taxpayers or other subsidies.

And AES's site selection addresses the issue of distance.

At all times - during transit and once at the facility site - the LNG will be no closer than one mile from populated areas.

The AES facility can serve as a cornerstone for clean industry and job growth at Sparrows Point.

It can also open up opportunities for commercial activities and job creation elsewhere in Maryland.

Kent Morton

Arlington, Va.

The writer is project director for AES Corp.'s Sparrows Point LNG plant.

On Feb. 27, the U.S. Coast Guard released findings that described the actions necessary to ensure the security of the liquid natural gas I hope will soon be using the LNG terminal proposed for Sparrows Point.

The developer of the proposed terminal has responded favorably to the Coast Guard's recommendations.

The Baltimore Building and Construction Trades Council also welcomes the Coast Guard's recommendations; they are paving the responsible path to the more than 4 million hours of work for union construction workers that could go into building the LNG terminal.

We believe that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will suggest additional safety measures when it releases its project assessment in April.

Cheaper, cleaner energy is necessary to saving the good-paying jobs that still exist in Baltimore County, and will be essential if we hope to rebuild the county's economic base.

The LNG terminal is the only project currently in the pipeline that can fill this need.

The federal reports on the LNG project must be read carefully.

They are not a condemnation of this project; they are the blueprint for operating the facility in a safe manner.

Rod Easter

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Baltimore Building and Construction Trades Council.

Murdered Israelis innocent victims

Sunday's photographs and text titled "The faces of grief" (March 9) are a prime example of what is wrong with the media's coverage of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

First, the juxtaposition of a photo of Israelis mourning the brutal murders of unarmed Yeshiva students by an Arab terrorist, with a photo of Arabs grieving for a "Fatah militant" (i.e., a terrorist who seeks the destruction of Israel, and deliberately targets civilians to achieve that end) killed by Israel in self-defense, suggests a moral equivalency between the two attacks that is warped.

Second, the article's reference to a "new violent cycle" obscures the fact that Israel's restrained and entirely justifiable military actions are wholly in response to the incessant rocket attacks and other acts of terror directed against Israel's civilian population by Hamas and its Iranian enablers.

The means to end this "violent cycle" are entirely within the control of the Palestinians - that is, they can do so by accepting Israel's right to exist, renouncing terror and ending incitement.

Unless and until this happens, any efforts to achieve a negotiated resolution of the conflict are doomed to failure.

Jay Bernstein

Baltimore

Israeli occupation lies at root of grief

I appreciate that the article "The faces of grief" (March 9) included a picture and a brief account of Palestinians killed by Israelis as well as the customary picture and account of Israelis' grieving for lost friends and relatives.

But given that The Sun reports that "more than 100 Palestinians, including 25 Gazans younger than 18," were killed in Israel's recent attacks in Gaza, compared with the eight Israelis killed in a recent attack, one might have expected much more coverage of the Palestinian tragedy.

However, given past U.S. media performance, I have gotten used to biased coverage of this conflict.

So it is refreshing to see that at least the two tragedies were covered in the same article.

But I wish that the media would focus more on the bottom-line of this conflict: the stealing of Palestinian land and water.

Doris Rausch

Ellicott City

Torture transforms U.S. into rogue state

Thank you for the article on President Bush's veto of the bill to limit CIA interrogation techniques ("Bush vetoes bill to limit CIA," March 9). But I would suggest that this is information that belongs on the front page.

Let us be clear: This veto, and the likely failure of Congress to override it, will cement our reputation in the world as a rogue state - one that permits torture.

I, for one, am deeply distressed and ashamed by this state of affairs.

Suzanne H. O'Hatnick

Baltimore

The writer is Maryland legislative coordinator for Amnesty International USA.

Banning foie gras would curb cruelty

I would welcome a foie gras ban in Maryland. It would be one step toward a more humane, civilized society ("Two sides battle over bill to ban sale of foie gras in Maryland," March 5).

We are not allowed to torture dogs and cats or harm many migratory species of birds. Why should ducks be any different?

Ducks raised for foie gras are force-fed so much food that their livers can expand up to 12 times their normal size.

The pipes used to push as much as four pounds of grain and fat into the ducks' stomachs often puncture the birds' throats, causing many of them to bleed to death.

Veterinarians say that the birds suffer from various diseases, including a metabolic illness that causes them to become too ill to walk.

That is why 16 countries and the state of California and the city of Chicago have chosen to ban foie gras.

People shouldn't be allowed to harm animals simply because they like the taste of their flesh or innards.

Katie Moore

Baltimore

Changing the rules unfair to Obama

Michigan and Florida were denied delegates to the Democratic National Convention because they moved up their primaries. Both Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama pledged to abide by party rules and not campaign in those states ("Parties look inward," March 6).

Mr. Obama respected the Democratic National Committee's decision to strip those states of their delegates.

I am very proud of Mr. Obama for being honest and keeping his promise to do so; at the same time, I am very disappointed in Mrs. Clinton's going to Florida to thank the voters of that state for their support after the state's polls closed.

If the DNC changes the rules now, it will be doing Mrs. Clinton a big favor and penalizing an honest man.

Seiko Shields

Columbia

Murder tally added more heat than light

In reply to the letter "Deleting murder box obscures good news" (March 9), I say I am thrilled to see it gone.

I feel it served no purpose except to sensationalize the murder rate in our "City that Bleeds."

It's certainly interesting that since the box was removed, the murder rate has decreased.

Now perhaps instead of reinstating the murder box, The Sun can occasionally have an article applauding the dropping crime rate.

Janice S. Dansicker

Baltimore

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