Regarding “Debate rages as Atlantic Coast Pipeline nears construction” (July 24): It has become commonplace to frame the issues involved with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline as a conflict between environment and economy. However, when the quality of the state’s water resources is concerned, issues of environment, economy and public health are inseparable.
The ACP could adversely affect water quality even before it is operational during the disruptive, even violent installation process. Trenching, horizontal drilling and blasting could result in the degradation of water quality with consequences for swimming, boating and commercial fishing. Because the pipeline crosses so many watersheds, the safety of drinking water supplies could be imperiled.
It is not surprising that opposition comes from residents worried about the line’s effect on their farms and other businesses and indignant that land in the path of the ACP could be condemned and seized through eminent domain. Given the risks to nearby residents, the burden of proof should be on the pipeline’s supporters to show that this project is even necessary. It is ironic that opponents of the ACP are dismissed as “radicals” and “agitators” when they are the real conservatives, trying to keep their property and businesses and preserve natural resources for future generations.
Lynn Mitchell Kohn
A send-off for Saunders
Regarding “Columnist Barry Saunders is leaving The N&O” (July 18): Say it isn’t so. Barry Saunders leaving The N&O. His columns have been a staple for our reading since my wife and I retired to Raleigh three years ago. His lively wit and on-target observations of the community were a must-read for us. So thanks to Barry for his well-crafted words and good wishes in whatever he ends up doing. He will be missed.
John G. Pearson
Make redistricting nonpartisan
Regarding “Legislators OK rules to redraw voting maps” (Aug. 11): It is critical that the General Assembly stop wasting more public funding on partisan contractors such as the additional $50K going to Tom Hofeller, who racially distorted the N.C. democratic process in the last redistricting effort. I fear the partisan General Assembly will again embarrass North Carolina and continue to subvert its democracy.
The redistricting process should be a nonpartisan-based effort. The process also should be transparent and decided early to allow both political parties to offer residents of North Carolina free electoral choices. Such a politically-biased process as that being pursued by the General Assembly is sleazy, ignorant, short-sighted and a continued embarrassment to the people of North Carolina.