Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 19, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Senator errs about industrial hemp

I must take great exception to my friend and fellow Republican, Sen. Chris Girdler. His comments on industrial hemp comparing it to a Chia Pet were not only unconstructive but also demonstrate an extremely uninformed position on this issue. They sought to diminish the economic benefits of industrial hemp as a biomass feedstock for the production of alternative energy and the manufacturing of a wide variety of goods ranging from textiles to automobile parts to transportation fuel.

According to EKU center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies, a single commercial biorefinery with a capacity of 50 million gallons of biodiesel per year is estimated to have a total economic impact of $480 million with about 2,000 jobs created. Drop-in fuels, such as biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, along with chemical feedstock that would allow for the production of bioplastics, are viable applications of industrial hemp that can be developed right here in Kentucky.

Our company is conducting tests on the viability of industrial hemp of blending with coal. This potentially could strengthen Kentucky coal competitiveness and boost job creation in the coal mining industry. It’s hoped all public officials would get on board for job creation because of the impact on rural communities.

Our company would utilize industrial hemp as a feedstock as part of our energy production, once restrictions are removed. We would hope to work with Senator Girdler in his capacity as both an elected official and as a representative for Congressman Rogers’ office to move projects forward in the Fifth District.

I personally contacted Senator Girdler to provide him an opportunity to discuss this issue to better understand the position of our company, the business community and farmers. The offer stands at any time, senator.

Roger Ford, CEO, Patriot Bioenergy Corp., Pikeville

CCAP helps many families

I agreed wholeheartedly with the Feb. 16 letter from David Carroll concerning cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program proposed by the state.

However, he lost me in the last paragraph. This is not “some country named Abuja.” Abuja is the capital of Nigeria, a planned city much like Brasilia, Washington, D.C., and Canberra. It became the capital of Nigeria in 1991.

I encourage people to contact the governor and legislators to find a way to restore funding to the CCAP, a state program that benefits many families and their children.

Craig Clere, Ashland

Greenup hurts self by banning alcohol

In response to alcohol sanctions in Greenup County, Greenup County has alcohol in special places. They hurt themselves by banning it.

Businesses in Portsmouth, Ashland, Ironton and Kenova that sell alcohol are full of Greenup County voters. All of the surrounding towns have the jobs, taxes and money.

Adults who want to drink, smoke or gamble will do so somewhere. Bring their alcohol home to Greenup.

If you do not approve of drinking, that is your right as an American. Do not drink, but for the people who do drink, they will drink and spend their money somewhere else.

This is also true of Sunday sales in Ashland. The Bible belt really squeezes the hypocrites.

These voters should visit the eating places where alcohol is served. Every place is very careful to avoid serving alcohol to those under 21.

Mary Lynn Montague, Greenup County

State of the Union all about rhetoric

What topics should a State of the Union address cover? It seems we get campaign-style rhetoric rather than a condensed statement of condition. It’s certain we will hear something about “jobs, taxes, education, health care.” Now don’t throw up, but you might be justified because this aging pablum diet has become noxious.

The “chamber” is a dangerous place to be, for one might well be trampled by herding noteworthies bent on exchanging pleasantries on camera with the president, a veritable coup de miatre! We drifted off at this point, but were saved by the pundits who naturally had already interpreted the speeches for us, i.e. the delivery, the major points, the opposition’s rebuttal, the nuances within, et cetera. Now we’re really confused.

We admit we are not qualified to make comment. We have not suggested that the “affair” is a complete farce, even though it might be in that vicinity. Grin and bear it. So much for banter.

We have taken this circuitous route to refer you to David M. Walker and his “Comeback America Initiative” for insight into the state of the union from one who appears qualified.

Michael Myers, Ashland

Another  reason to ‘Ditch Mitch

There was a vote a couple of weeks ago that affected filibusters by individual U.S. senators.

The Jan. 25 vote drew this comment from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul: “This evening, the U.S. Senate voted on a series of changes to amend the standing orders of the Senate, much to the chamber’s detriment. Both resolutions passed. Tonight, Senate Democrats succeeded in seriously weakening the greatest deliberative legislative body in the world. The rules change limits the ability of senators to offer amendments, stifles debate and greases the skids for Democrats to implement more of their tax-and-spend agenda. For these reasons, I voted no.”

Senator Paul failed to point out this legislation, while sponsored by Democrat Senate leader Harry Reid, was co-sponsored by none other than Republican leader Mitch McConnell. One must ask why Senator McConnell is “greasing the skids for Democrats to implement more of their tax-and-spend agenda.”

This episode provides us yet another reason to “Ditch Mitch” in 2014!

Joe Dehner, Union

Letters invited

The Independent invites readers to submit In Your View letters on public issues. Letters must not exceed 300 words and must include the name, address and telephone number of the author. Words of Thanks letters are limited to no more than 150 words. The Independent cannot guarantee a day of publication for letters . The Independent reserves the right to edit letters for length, spelling, grammar, accuracy and appropriateness of language. Unverified leyyers won’t be published. Direct questions about letters  to John Cannon, opinion page editor, at jcannon@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2649.