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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Keep EATS act out of Farm Bill; airport dampens spirits; rushing the EV transition

Ashlee Andersen: Politics: Legislators must keep EATS act out of Farm Bill

As someone who values Colorado’s natural resources and environmental quality, I am deeply concerned by the recent introduction of the deceptively-named Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act (H.R.4417/S.2019) in U.S. Congress. At its core, the EATS Act sets out to exempt the hyper-consolidated and largely corporatized animal agriculture industry from complying with environmental, animal welfare, and public health policies. It does this by stripping state and local governments of their right to enact laws and regulations related to the sale of agricultural products, using overly broad language that could wipe out thousands of good laws nationwide.

The EATS Act was introduced in response to California’s Proposition 12, a voter-backed ballot measure prohibiting the in-state sale of products from caged animals raised in extreme confinement. Laws restricting the use of cruel confinement and other checks on the highly destructive and pollutive industrial animal agriculture system are not only essential for animals, but a critical source of protection for the environment. Factory farms, in which over 100,000 animals may be crowded together in hellish conditions, discharge incredible amounts of chemicals, toxins, greenhouse gasses, waste and other contaminants into the air, waterways and nearby communities. Moreover, the EATS Act could nullify critical environmental protection laws in Colorado and prevent Colorado from passing environmental laws and regulations in the future.

With the climate crisis and its direct effects more perceptible than ever, any bill that broadly restricts states’ ability to maintain or effect common sense laws and regulations related to environmental conditions would be a truly regrettable misstep. I thank Representative Joe Neguse for opposing the EATS Act and urge Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper to oppose the EATS Act and keep it out of the 2023 Farm Bill.

Ashlee Andersen, Boulder

Jeanne Barr: Voting: Boulder airport dampens spirits

I was reading the letter entitled, “Boulder airport keeps the spirit of flight alive,” when I casually glanced at the writer’s name and city of residence.

I was surprised when I saw that the writer doesn’t even live in Boulder much less anywhere near the airport. How would he know how deafening the roar of a jet or the ear-splitting sound of a glider tow plane can be especially when they’re taking off one after the other on an otherwise beautiful Boulder morning?

Why would he care if lead and other poisons are sprayed down on our children? They’re not sprayed on him or his children.

His attitude reminds me of the short-sighted callousness seen so often in the world today. People with this callous attitude simply want to get what they want regardless of the pain and suffering it may cause others. Notice the letter writer didn’t even mention other people with other opinions. Who cares about them?

I am now wondering how many letters have been written in favor of the airport by people who live nowhere near it and are completely unaffected by it. They may think the airport is fine but they should not get a vote.

Jeanne Barr, Boulder

Janet Juell: Cars: Don’t rush EV transition with regulations

More and more of our friends and neighbors have made the switch from gas-powered vehicles to electric. They have used government subsidies and incentives. The Biden administration should not be making this rush to a major market shift through a very heavy-handed EPA rule.

President Biden’s EPA is definitely ahead of their skis on the newly proposed tailpipe emissions rule. This proposal requires up to two-thirds of vehicle sales by 2032 be electric vehicles. That goal doesn’t match reality for the following reasons. The average EV costs nearly $60,000 which is more than many Americans make each year. Before the EPA starts mandating electric vehicles across the country let’s recognize that proper government targets have set the course for innovation that has made gas-powered vehicles cleaner than ever before and still more is being done every day with technology and research. Common pollutants from passenger cars are down 99% since 1970, and the air is cleaner despite having significantly more miles traveled on average per person.

President Biden’s administration needs to realize that while America’s transition to electric vehicles is already in progress, using burdensome regulations to artificially force a major market shift that neither industry nor consumers are prepared for would only introduce significant unintended consequences into the equation.

Janet Juell, Loveland

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