News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 20, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 20, 2012

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Project would bring opportunity

Lincolnland Economic Development Corp. is recruiting the $2.8 billion Indiana Gasification LLC clean energy project for Indiana. That plant represents hundreds of permanent, high-paying jobs in newer, cleaner advanced industrial technologies. In addition, it will revive hundreds of jobs in related industries, and it will support yet another thousand laborers during construction.

Indiana suppliers and vendors will also benefit. The company will create a new resource for Indiana’s waterway and rail commerce. Our region needs these jobs and revenues.

Indiana Gasification’s process is the cleanest, most innovative industrial use of coal in history. It will even generate millions of extra barrels of domestic oil each year.

Our state’s agreement with Indiana Gasification requires the company to give Hoosier ratepayers a corporate financial guarantee, and some inventive revenue sharing. This is unheard of security.

Indiana Gasification’s cooperation with state and federal government reflects public sector encouragement of the private sector to develop alternative energy, while protecting our environment.

The plan is conceived by one of America’s top environmentalists, researched by top academics, designed by environmental engineers and approved by IDEM and EPA. It will diversify our energy portfolio, and it will create the opportunity for us to make more of our own energy, and to employ more of our own people.

— Tom Utter

Executive Director

Lincolnland Economic

Development Corp.

Rockport

 

It’s time to tax legal marijuana

This is response you the Tribune-Star editorial of Dec. 17, “Don’t let pot smoke obscure bigger issue.”

Indiana legislators need to consider that penalties for minor marijuana offenses do little other than burden otherwise law-abiding citizens with criminal records. The voters of Colorado and Washington state have made it clear that legislators can no longer get away with confusing the drug war’s tremendous collateral damage with a plant.

If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug cartels, prohibition is a success. The drug war distorts supply and demand dynamics so that big money grows on little trees. If the goal is to deter use, marijuana prohibition is a failure.

The United States has double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana is legal. The criminalization of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis has no basis in science. The war on marijuana consumers is a failed cultural inquisition, not an evidence-based public health campaign. It’s time to stop the arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

— Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for

Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.