Readers Write 12/29

Leaders are breaking social contract

The CAPCO bill demonstrates the gross misunderstanding our leaders have of the basic social contract. We pay taxes so that government can provide for the needs that individuals and profit-seeking enterprises are unwilling (or unable) to take on. These include infrastructure, education and public safety. Our lawmakers are shirking their mandate and misappropriating public money by funneling dollars to private investors who will invest for their own profit. This is a horrible way for the government to “invest.” The opportunity cost is extremely high; the people take all the risk, and the return is uncertain.

Patrick Kelley, Albany

Let’s not delegitimize people for political gain

It is hard to believe that Newt Gingrich would describe the Palestinians as an “invented” people. If that’s the case, what about the Australians or New Zealanders, whose national existence would once have been unimaginable? Today, the Palestinian nation is as authentic as the Israeli nation (and vice versa). Hopefully, they will evolve into two states. Gingrich’s attempt to alter facts to strengthen his political career is a shame — and wrong.

James J. David, Marietta

EPA standards to reduce mercury important step

Regarding “EPA issues mercury-reduction standards for power plants” (ajc.com, Dec. 21), earlier this year, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL) staff and supporters rallied with citizens across the country in support of the EPA’s new mercury standards. We are thankful for the new mercury reduction standards and look forward to the significant savings they will bring in public health costs. These standards will also create new jobs, and protect creation for generations to come.

GIPL represents a variety of faiths — many of which recognize the sacred nature of water and incorporate it into their rituals and traditions. Christians in the last few decades have faced the dilemma of baptizing infants in water laced with mercury from our coal-burning power plants. How do we symbolize cleansing and a fresh start with water that we know can contain deadly amounts of mercury?

Thank you to the people of faith across the country who support this rule, and to the administration and the EPA for protecting our air and water. We are honored to be a part of this historic movement.

Alexis Chase, executive director, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light