Of energy and taxes

The current discussion concerning offshore drilling is an example of how hard it is for our leaders to do the right things for the right reasons.

If we Floridians are concerned about our pristine beaches, we should be more concerned about the use of septic tanks that are polluting our waters.

We worry about oil rigs we can see but not human waste that flows unseen into lakes, rivers, and eventually the Gulf and Atlantic. Entire new housing developments rely on septic tanks instead of sewer systems.

As for oil drilling, the technology developed in recent years supports the position of those of us who believe offshore wells are safe.

There are, of course, other alternatives for electric power that would be developed if we had leaders of substance and backbone. Nuclear energy immediately comes to mind. Residents of the Tampa Bay area need look no further than the Crystal River nuclear plant. And France and Japan are poster boys for safety and integrity. Wind generation of electricity, as proposed by T. Boone Pickens, is another alternative; however, there are groups in Florida opposed because some birds might be killed.

Our nation could also incorporate liquefied coal plants. Just one part of Kentucky has enough coal to satisfy our energy needs for 400 years.

We citizens need to keep our eyes open so we won’t be misled, as we were in January. Then, our state leadership encouraged us to vote for Amendment 1. Let’s look at the effects of these tax cuts:

Budgets are reduced for police and fire protection. There are fewer road repairs.

Mosquito control is a health issue, but it is now in the cross hairs for reduction.

Cities and counties will undoubtedly reduce beautification projects.

School budgets for an expanding population must be reduced. Some school districts are contemplating four-day weeks, which means working parents must find daycare for the fifth day. In our higher education system, we will continue to lose outstanding professors to other states.

If we citizens continue to be complacent, policymakers will continue to create poor public policy.