Silicon and NIMBY
John Endres’ opinion (“Silicon smelting process tarnishes ‘green’ claim for solar panels,” April 6) is interesting in many ways. Yes, silicon smelting does pollute, and I do think new technology should be implemented to minimize that. However, he misses a few things.
We have had two years of supply chain issues, in particular because many manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas. Most of those nations don’t have the regulations we have in the U.S. That means they are polluting far more to produce the silicon. Is Endres prepared to help the environment by stopping his use of all products that use it, including the computer on which he is, most likely, reading this?
The other question is, what is the opportunity cost of not creating more solar panels and not moving more quickly away from fossil fuels? Over the life of the two, solar energy costs less and pollutes less. I’m as concerned as he is with the change of percentage of planned solar panels, so getting the state to mandate something might be a better purpose than trying to stop the plant.
What this seems to be is another example of NIMBY. As long as the pollution is happening somewhere else, it can be ignored by upper-middle-class environmentalists here. Wouldn’t it be better to use our state and nation’s regulatory environments to better manage the manufacture of a product that is absolutely necessary to the modern world?
Truth about USPS
Regarding Lori Burns’ letter on the United States Postal Service (April 5).
Sorry that you and a dozen of your neighbors are affected by the improvement of the Hatch Road Bridge out of the 18,289 people residing in the 99224 ZIP code area. The same taxpayers subsidizing the USPS like crazy … only if crazy is zero. The fact is the USPS gets zero of your tax dollars.
The USPS is a not-for-profit platform that is being forced to act like a for-profit enterprise (like FedEx, UPS and Waste Management) without having direct access to the gross revenue the USPS creates in the economy (the 2021 USPS generated annual revenue of $77 billion and first quarter of 2021 saw a $318 million profit).
It breaks my heart when misinformation is spread by the ill-informed, misled few. Yes, the USPS is represented by a union. After the 1972 postal strike, the union assisted postal employees to make a living wage. The USPS service has slipped in the past few years, as a direct result of a presidential-appointed postmaster general. Louis DeJoy made the decision to slow down the mail delivery by reducing the amount of mail delivered by air. In all, one-third of letters and parcels addressed to 27 states are affected by this mandated shift to truck delivery, mainly coastal or central extremities of our country, mainly west of the Rockies, part of Texas and Florida.