Electing knowledgeable leaders

Despite the anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the contamination of the Elk River and the drinking water in West Virginia, the groundwater pollution from 33 coal ash dumps and the coal ash spill in the Dan River in North Carolina, and the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, this newspaper continues to denigrate the EPA. I know that coal-mining jobs are very important. My father-in-law was a coal miner; he died at the age of 58. He had black lung – never got to retire. But coal, chemical and oil companies have to be held responsible for polluting our air and water and it’s not going to happen if we keep weakening the EPA. A democracy should make sure its citizens are safe from possible environmental damage by the oil, gas, chemical and coal industry.

A recent U.N. report warned us of the heightened threat from global warming, March 31, 2014: “Global warming poses a growing threat to the health, economic prospects, and food and water sources of billions of people, top scientists said in a report that urges swift action to counter the effects of carbon emissions … the effects of warming are being felt everywhere, fueling potential food shortages, natural disasters and raising the risk of wars.”

Even though we are experiencing extreme weather conditions brought about by global warming, many of our congressmen are ignorant of the consequences of their inaction. A democracy should have leaders that are knowledgeable in science and technology and that work together and with other nations to ensure a healthy environment for citizens.

It will soon be time for citizens to exercise their right to vote. I will vote for people that will keep our water and our air clean, will hold companies accountable that pollute and make sure the EPA is strong enough to ensure compliance. I will vote for those that will strengthen Obamacare so everyone has access to affordable health care and those that will fund Planned Parenthood to make sure women have access to family planning so the children that come into this world are wanted and loved. I will vote for those that will work to reverse the Supreme Court’s recent decisions letting companies and the wealthy buy our elections. And I will vote for those that will try to bring sanity back to the indiscriminate possession of guns.

In other words, I will vote for the Democrats.

Carol Lazear Mitchell