Dear Editor:There are several stories in the news that are making me frantic. The first story is about the car companies. Ford isn’t doing well. They lost 9 percent, but that didn’t keep their CEO took home $28 million last year – an enormous amount of money. What can one person do to be worth such a sum? Be deeply committed to the welfare and future of the company, willing to make a lot of personal sacrifice? I do not know much about this CEO, I’m not aware of his job description but I’m not left with the impression he cares very much about the future of his company.I think a person who was really committed to their career and the future of their company would be willing to invest 50 percent of one year’s salary into it. $14 million is still a hefty paycheck for one year – more than most Americans see in a lifetime. I do not have any basis for knowing just how far $14 million would go to improve a car company. Would it be enough to re-tool one line? I think one could make some pretty substantial improvements for that amount.While Ford is going downhill, Toyota, Honda and Kia are boasting record profits! What is their secret? I’m sniffing around for a new car these days. Toyota and Honda are right at the top of my list. Friends that I ask have glowing things to say in both cases. Could it be that they are building reliable, economic, fuel-efficient cars?You see more and more Priuses on the road all the time. Ford keeps cranking out gas guzzling monsters, but it doesn’t seem to be working for them. The successful car companies now are the ones who are at the forefront of hybrid technology. Why doesn’t Ford make changes that need to be made? If they are paying the CEO $28 million a year, they have the resources to make at least some positive steps toward change.The other story that’s been on the news is about the EPA and if they are responsible for enforcing the Clean Air Act. Do they know what EPA stands for? They are the Environmental Protection Agency, right? How is this a question that requires the highest court in the land to answer?! Why are we litigating something so painfully obvious?It has to come back to oil, doesn’t it? There is huge money connected to oil, and it is a powerful force that is resisting change toward an economy and a world that doesn’t burn oil for energy. The EPA is laced with oil people who don’t want to take their friends in the oil and car companies to task and make them do they right thing. We know now without doubt the climate of our planet is changing and our oil and coal burning tendencies are hastening the change. We have only begun to see the devastating effects of it: droughts, floods, stronger storms, extinction, higher sea levels.A rising tide lifts all ships. Money versus the health of our planet. It seems obvious to me. Especially since Toyota has shown us that there’s money to be made with the new wave of earth friendly technology.Maureen JacksonBasalt
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