Bright lights, dim bulbs in Washington

To the editor:

What did the Democratic-controlled Congress accomplished in 2007? Why, gosh! Driving incandescent light bulbs into obsolescence was a stroke of legislative, brainless genius.

I recently purchased an energy-saving fluorescent bulb to try it on a lamp. Oopsy daisy. My lamps, as well as all wall switches, have dimmer controls. And this wonderful bulb has information written in magnifying-glass font that it is not to be used with dimmers.

Now, if any fool knows that fluorescent lights need full electric charge to function, how come the fools in Congress did not consider this in their rush to punish the power companies? Talk about collateral damage.

My choice now is to go completely dark, burn Brazil nuts (which provide readable illumination) or make some electrician and lamp shops rich by changing out switches and lamps.

I knew it was all George W. Bush’s fault.

ROBERT S. TOBIAS

LAS VEGAS

Indigent defense

To the editor:

The Review-Journal’s Tuesday editorial on public defenders offered some well-deserved praise to the Nevada Supreme Court for making sweeping changes to the state’s indigent defense system, but it seems all too eager to continue to restrain the public’s right to defense representation based on hypothetical fiscal concerns.

It is important for government institutions to operate on sound cost management, but this cannot be used as an excuse to limit the rights of the people. Sound fiscal judgment should be based on reducing waste, not by limiting access to our court system for those whom the U.S. Constitution guarantees such access.

With basic human rights at risk, these changes, as well as future recommended caseload limits, should not be part of a pick-and-choose scenario.

David Carroll

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Mining law

To the editor:

I recently read that Sen. John Ensign has publicly opposed the mining law reform bill (H.R. 2262) that passed the House of Representatives.

I, like many Nevadans, was appalled to hear that the U.S. House had approved an 8 percent royalty on new mining operations. A prosperous and stable domestic mining industry is good for Nevada and good for the country. We need to strive for mining law reform that encourages investment, rewards environmental stewardship and keeps mining operations here in Nevada. This bill does not meet those goals.

When discussing his opposition to the bill, Sen. Ensign highlighted that mining jobs are stable and well-paying, and help keep our rural economies robust and growing. I could not agree more.

Joe Hardy

BOULDER CITY

THE WRITER, A REPUBLICAN, REPRESENTS DISTRICT 20 IN THE NEVADA ASSEMBLY.

Not hate

To the editor:

Review-Journal columnist Erin Neff seems to be infatuated with the word “hate” (“Zero-for-2 on Iowa picks,” Jan. 6 column). To say that evangelicals “hate” Catholics is totally misplaced and a gross generalization. I know a large number of evangelical Christians and none of them “hates” Catholics.

And her comment that, “Evangelicals dislike Mormons even more than they hate Catholics” improperly attributes a relational position on a theological issue.

Here’s a more accurate statement: The gap between evangelical Christian theology and Mormon theology is much greater than with Catholic theology. We all understand this, and both my Mormon and Catholic friends would agree.

The Nevada Concerned Citizens board has evangelical, Mormon and Catholic representation, and we practice tolerance in things theological, as we work together on moral and social issues.

Richard Ziser

LAS VEGAS

THE WRITER IS CHAIRMAN OF NEVADA CONCERNED FAMILIES.

Nuke dump

To the editor:

In October, I toured Areva’s used nuclear fuel recycling facility at LaHague, France, where the French have proved that recycling used nuclear power plant fuel is safe, routine and friendly to the environment.

The French commissioned the plant in 1966. The utilities that recycle their used nuclear fuel come from Europe, Scandinavia and Japan. The Italian government, which shunned nuclear power for years, has come to the wisdom of recycling fuel.

The fuel that I saw had 4 percent waste and 96 percent that was being recycled. The 96 percent was converted into new power plant fuel and is returned to the utility. That is correct: After a full run, typically six years in a reactor, the “used” fuel still retains better than 90 percent of its energy potential.

Moreover, the recycling process drastically reduced the amount of material requiring long-term storage. Now France is storing the vitrified waste underground in a temperature-controlled room 60 feet deep.

If we recycled our “used” nuclear fuel, would we need Yucca Mountain?

If we are going to use nuclear fuel to generate clean, reliable energy, we must have a plan for recycling our used fuel. The Areva plan is being used safely today.

Bill Gordon

RENO

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