Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

June 8, 2014

LETTERS: Indoor smoking is harmful; efficiency costs less than coal

Indoor smoking is harmful to workers

I was very excited to learn the Kokomo city council and the Howard County Commissioners are both going to be considering strengthening smoke-free laws for our communities. This is a great step in the right direction for our community.

At Project Access Howard County, we believe in helping people who don’t have health insurance get access to health care. We believe that a smoke-free community is a healthier community.

In my line of work, I have seen that, more often than not, those who work in the hospitality industry are uninsured. It’s one thing to have to live off of minimum wage or tips, but it’s a big problem when, after working somewhere filled with secondhand smoke, that these workers develop health problems like asthma, heart disease or lung cancer that will require medical treatment they can’t afford to receive.

Insurance or not, no one should have to work in an unsafe workplace. And every workplace that allows smoking indoors is an unsafe workplace. I commend our elected leaders for taking this step and look forward to the day when I can say I live and work in a smoke-free Howard County.

Sherry Rahl

Project Access Howard County

Energy efficiency costs less than coal

“Every means at our disposal” is the way Indiana Gov. Mike Pence asserts he will fight regulations proposed on June 2 by the Environmental Protection Agency designed to turn the corner on the global warming crisis.

Pence claims the rules will devastate the state’s coal-based economy although the rule only requires Indiana to make a relatively small reduction of 20 percent of carbon dioxide emissions within 16 years.

EPA proposes some coal burning be replaced by a combination of solar energy, wind and, yes, energy efficiency. All those energy sources cost far less to produce than new coal, and our aging coal fleet is in dire need of some true upgrades because of their age. Making those upgrades is what will cause Hoosiers to pay significantly higher electric bills in the future, not renewables and efficiency.

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