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Letters to the Editor, March 10

Pass immigration reform

On ABC’s "This Week" in September 2014, John Boehner pointed out that after the 2012 election he said it was time to do immigration reform, and he assured the interviewer that he could get it passed. He never delivered, so President Obama finally did what he could on his own with executive orders. Every president starting with George Washington has issued them, but Republicans call Obama’s “unconstitutional.” I think they mean “uppity.”

Republicans could make his executive actions obsolete by passing Boehner’s long-promised immigration reform, but that would be contrary to their policy of opposing whatever Obama is for. Instead they sued the president and took us to the brink of shutting down the very department responsible for apprehending and deporting illegal aliens.

It’s the lead up to 2016, and after six years of doing nothing but stonewall and try to make Obama fail, Republicans now say they want to show us how well they can govern. Their handling of immigration is a good example: Rather than address the issue, they just rant and rave about anything Obama does. It’s pretty pathetic that even when on their best behavior, Republican lawmakers put their petty spite above the nation’s interest.

Michael Steely, Medford

Don't cut Medicare Advantage

Millions of seniors are on Medicare Advantage programs for affordable coverage. Drastic cuts were made to the program in 2010, and I'm concerned that additional cuts could have dire consequences for its members. it could force them back onto traditional Medicare, which on its own is not comprehensive enough to offer quality health care to every senior. I'm not in favor of any cuts that limit choices for seniors' vital health care needs.

I recently enrolled in Medicare with a supplemental policy for health care. This is in addition to my VA coverage. I have since discovered that it is difficult to find a good doctor willing to take on Medicare patients. This is quite alarming to me. if our government continues to cut Medicare Advantage, the seniors on this program will likely experience an even greater problem finding doctors willing to take their plans.

Congress must keep quality health care choices an option for seniors by ensuring full funding for Medicare Advantage. Anything less is a betrayal of the seniors who worked hard all their lives for these benefits.

David Nunes, Phoenix

FERC failed

In assessing the Jordan Cove / Pacific Connector natural gas projects, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission failed to perform its duty.

At the end of Chapter 4 of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, FERC accepted the responsibility of assessing the incremental cumulative impact of this project and associated past, present and future reasonably foreseeable actions. This means assessing the global warming implications of greenhouse gas emissions from fracking shale, transporting the natural gas to Coos Bay, exporting it, and its final combustion in Asia. However, in Chapter 1 of the DEIS, FERC denied this jurisdiction.

I used the data in the DEIS to calculate the overall impact of the project and associated actions. Assuming the average rate of leakage of methane from shale fracked natural gas, I conservatively estimate that emissions from the project will be equivalent to 57 million tons of carbon dioxide. This represents about 75 percent of Oregon’s total greenhouse gas emissions footprint for 2010.

Using the Environmental Protection Agency estimate of the social cost of carbon emissions, the annual cost of the project range from $700 million to nearly $7 billion. Any economic benefit pails into insignificance compared to this. Does this serve the public interest?

Alan Journet, Jacksonville


Letters to the Editor, March 10