Hydropower is still renewable

Oregon's efforts on the energy issue would be a lot more impressive if they were not so misguided.

The governor and Legislature are promoting a bill to force utilities to get 25 percent of their energy supplies from renewable sources by 2025. But the proposal does not allow consideration of traditional hydropower, the biggest source of renewable energy we have.

That's like saying we want to double our food production while prohibiting the use of arable land.

Alternative sources under consideration — like wind and solar — are great but still in their infancy and not available all the time. Thermal plants and hydrodams, if properly managed, are available round the clock and in all seasons to meet our growing electrical load.

Coal-fired steam generators now are frowned upon because of C02. But in this country coal remains our most plentiful resource. Instead of writing it off with ill-considered legislation, we ought to encourage technological improvements that eliminate or cut down on the emissions so as to allow its continued use.

&byline;(Pendleton) East Oregonian

The United States is known as the land of the free. We are a country that prides itself in our freedoms — mainly, our freedom of choice.

As Americans, we have the right to choose where we live, what we eat and where we work. All three of which can be potentially dangerous.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans choose to live in what's known as "Tornado Alley." Millions, every day, poison themselves with unhealthy food. Americans every day choose to enter the military, become police officers and firefighters, and choose other dangerous occupations. But they choose to do it.

The same should be considered for waiters, waitresses and bartenders. There is an obvious danger to working in a bar — secondhand smoke — but they choose to work there.

Don't get us wrong. We're not saying making these types of establishments nonsmoking is a bad thing. On the contrary. We believe it's a good thing.

Smoking is deadly. Period. It doesn't matter if it's secondhand smoke or not. But it should be the choice of each individual business to be smoke-free. It shouldn't be a law.

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