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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of August 6, 2004

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Comments from our listeners on some of our recent broadcasts.

Transcript

CURWOOD: It’s Living on Earth, I’m Steve Curwood. Time now for comments from you, our listeners.

[LETTERS THEME]

CURWOOD: Our look at the environmental records of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and Vice Presidential nominee John Edwards was appreciated by many listeners. Among them: Jill Harmer, from Louisville, Kentucky, who called in to request that we continue this type of political reporting well past the campaign season.

HARMER: I really appreciate your telling about the candidates’ views on the environment in the last program. That’s what we need, the real issues. And I would like in the future for us to have issues, not just before the election, but timely, so we can call in and comment on them to the right places. Thank you so much for that special last program.

CURWOOD: Our roundtable discussion examining Senator Kerry’s campaign proposals for energy independence also struck a cord with listeners. Steve Dollase (Do-la-c), in Arlington, Virginia, believes it was a stretch when our guest from the Energy Future Coalition, Reid Detchon, said a hike in the gas tax wouldn’t cut oil consumption because demand for gasoline is to a certain extent “inelastic.”

“While gasoline demand is inelastic in the short-run, it is much more elastic in the long run,” Mr. Dollase writes. “Higher gasoline prices would, in the long run, motivate consumers to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles, utilize mass transit, choose to live near where they work and alter their behavior in other ways which would reduce consumption.

Calvin E. Hilton, Jr., who hears us on WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida, also disputes Mr. Detchon’s comment that a gas tax would not change consumer behavior because transportation is not a discretionary purchase. “People spend a lot of time in their cars that is discretionary and people can decide to buy more fuel efficient cars to offset higher gas prices,” he writes. “I’m surprised that no one challenged his statement.

Finally, our report on the fate of Waterfront South, a neighborhood in Camden, New Jersey, drew several comments. City officials there are inviting in more industry to spur jobs and tax revenue, but residents in the largely Black and Latino community say they already bear more than their share of pollution.

Margaret Betz in Savannah, Georgia, writes: “Focused on the sensitive issues affecting the people there, the story demonstrated the environmental racism evident in our nation’s long-standing practices of dumping polluting industries into areas of the city’s poorest families. The same injustice is so very evident on the coast of Georgia.”

Your comments are always welcome. Call our listener line anytime at 800-218-9988. That’s 800-218-9988. Or write us at 20 Holland Street, Somerville, Massachusetts, 02144. Our email address is comments@loe.org. Once again, comments@loe.org. And you can hear our program anytime on our website: Living on Earth dot org. That’s Living on Earth dot O-R-G.

 

 

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