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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | FEBRUARY 05, 2015 5:00 AM

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Say no to Iowa pipeline

Energy Transfer Partners of Texas has proposed a 346 mile 30-inch diameter pipeline to be built diagonally though Iowa from the northwest to the southeast. This pipeline would carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois to be refined and shipped to export locations. Energy Transfer plans to use eminent domain to take Iowans’ land if the landowners do not comply with acquisition offers.

This plan is wrong for Iowa in many ways. The oil will not be for use in Iowa. Property rights of Iowans could be violated in favor of a private company. Fewer than 10 full-time jobs are estimated to result from the built pipeline. Thousands of acres of prime Iowa cropland will be taken out of production. More carbon-based fuel will contribute to global climate change.

Pipelines, old and new, spill and leak. A steady stream of news reports show us the environmental devastation from pipeline disasters all over our country. It takes years to clean up the land and water after the devastation of a spill. Sometimes, full cleanup is not possible. There remain unanswered questions about who pays the costs of attempted cleanups.

For more information about this proposed pipeline, go to www.nobakken.com. We can participate in our democracy and let the decision-makers know how we feel about the Bakken Pipeline crossing our beautiful and bountiful state.

Virginia Meyer

Racial discrimination still rampant

Fear and distrust of people who look different are all too common and are the basis for the sin of white privilege. White privilege is a concept that many white people are unable to comprehend simply because many have never know of life any other way. Unless you are a person of color, it is difficult to imagine how subtle and not-so-subtle differences can end up making a big effect on opportunity and self-esteem. While there are some people of color for whom white privilege has less effect, no doubt all have been challenged by it to varying degrees.

Hopefully, discrimination is unintentional, but that doesn’t make it any less hurtful to the person who is on the receiving end of that discrimination.

We need to realize that racial segregation is still rampant:

The median wealth gap difference between a white family and a black family is $80,000.

One in 9 black children has an incarcerated parent compared with 1 in 57 white children.

A white man who has been to jail is still more likely to get a job than a black man who hasn’t.

There was a lot of righteous indignation from white people in response to the recent rioting in Ferguson — as if people of color have no right to feel oppressed. While violence is never a productive response, how hard can it be to understand the anger and frustration that has been building for centuries?

If we want to have strong, healthy communities, we need to face racism head-on. Racism is a burden that we all bear and that we need to continually work on to overcome.

For more information visit www.ClintonFranciscans.com or call 563-242-7611.

Laura Anderson


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