If paying athletes, pay top students, too
Pay me, too.
I entered my freshman year of college with a Regents Scholarship, a business scholarship, a small textbook scholarship from the Honors Program and a speech and debate scholarship. That year, I still paid about $7,000 to go to school.
That was a fantastic savings and meant I needed no loans, but then I started meeting student-athletes who told me they had everything paid for. They were some of the busiest people I’ve met and were still expected to do schoolwork. I don’t begrudge them their full rides.
Had someone offered me a full-ride tennis scholarship, I would’ve signed in a heartbeat. Instead, I worked really hard in school. I’m told academics are important but just don’t produce the same kind of earnings.
Promotional materials from colleges advertise their average ACT scores, GPA, research amounts, national rankings of programs of study — almost like they’re recruiting on an academic basis.
We need to seriously examine our priorities if we’re considering paying student- athletes on top of their free educations, while top students take out loans for housing and books. Just because people don’t buy tickets to watch me write a thesis doesn’t mean I work any less hard than the student-athletes scoring points for our teams.
Nicholas Sauma, Omaha
Don’t base pipeline support on new study
Industry and government should avoid using the conclusion of the report by IHS CERA Inc. (IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates) that the Keystone XL pipeline would have “no material impact” on oil sands greenhouse-gas emissions. IHS’s arguments are far too easy for pipeline opponents to defeat.
IHS asserted, “In the absence of the pipeline, alternate transportation routes would result in oil sands production growth being more or less unchanged.”
IHS appears to assume that climate- change campaigners will be unsuccessful at blocking other proposed expansions of oil sands bitumen transportation systems. In reality, all of these plans are under serious threat due to activists’ actions. Climate campaigners want to stop all methods of transporting oil sands to refineries because they are determined to shut down the project entirely.
IHS also stated, “The study also found that any absence of oil sands on the U.S. Gulf Coast (the destination for Keystone XL) would most likely be replaced by imports of heavy crude oil from Venezuela, which has the same carbon footprint as oil sands.”
A Keystone XL benefit, so the Department of Energy says, would be lower gasoline prices. This is to be expected when supply expands and diversifies. With lower prices, consumption will likely rise and so will carbon dioxide emissions.
The strongest reason for Keystone XL is that it would greatly enhance U.S. energy security by replacing oil imports from unfriendly dictatorships with oil from Canada. And the impact of oil sands expansion on global climate would be negligible, since the project would emit only about one one-thousandth of world emissions.
Tom Harris, Ottawa, Ontario
International Climate Science Coalition
Keystone pipeline fight not about jobs
I would remind all Nebraskans that the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline is not about jobs — it’s about protecting our precious water supply and its importance to our Nebraska agricultural economy and our health.
Of course we’d like to see more Americans put to work, especially with well-paying jobs, but not at the expense of our health. Just ask the folks along the Kalamazoo River in Michigan or the residents of Mayflower, Ark., how harmful tar sands crude oil is.
Nina Nelson, Omaha
Replacing fossil fuels still not practical
After seeing the local protests about OPPD’s north Omaha power station and hearing about the need for more greener energy such as wind turbines, I decided to do some research on the subject.
The north Omaha power plant produces 638.2 megawatts of electricity. Using the biggest turbines that are available, it would require roughly 1,277 of these turbines to produce the same amount of power.
Then at a cost of roughly $7.2 million per turbine, we’re looking at a total of $9.2 billion. Not to mention, where would you put 1,277 turbines?
As with all green energy ideas, the technology does not exist to replace fossil fuels. Not that we should stop trying to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, but alternative energy sources just aren’t a viable solution right now. Currently, oil, natural gas and coal are the best ways to produce energy.
Scott Baker, Omaha
Gas-price roller coaster is expensive ride
Shortly after reading a World-Herald article with a headline that said gas prices are expected to keep falling, I drove by my neighborhood gas station and noted the price was 14 cents higher than the day before.
It seems like we continue to see prices jump by 10 to 15 cents, followed by reductions of just one or two cents.
Can anyone explain what is going on? I guess the recommendation is to buy stock in oil companies.
Hal Capps, Omaha
Fischer’s Congress assessment too rosy
Nebraska’s freshman U.S. senator, Deb Fischer, says the gridlock in Washington “isn’t as bad as it is made out to be.”
I am assuming she is referring to no farm bill; no legislation on voting rights, immigration reform, student loans or food stamps (a program proven to help needy children and senior citizens); no gun control (despite the Sandy Hook school shooting); no stopping the sequester; Congress having a record-low approval rating below 10 percent; and the Republicans being forced to finally move on presidential appointments.
She also says the “legislative process appears to be working as it was designed to work.” I guess the decades of Congress actually getting something done were all an unintended fluke.
If the damage being done to our country by the people in Washington, especially Fischer’s party, were not so pathetic, her blind eye to a truth most Americans believe (note the low approval rating) would be laughable. Hopefully this will be the last term for all our delegates. I just can’t call them representatives.
Virgil Armendariz Jr., Omaha
GOP doing its job in two-party system
In his Aug. 12 letter, Jerry Preble doesn’t seem to understand the two-party system under which we Americans presently live.
We have the Democrats who have the presidency and the Senate in their control, and the Republicans who control the House of Representatives. One party tries to pass legislation they believe in, and if the other party agrees with that legislation, it is voted on and passed into law. However, if the opposing party does not agree with the legislation, then they try to stop it.
Preble’s letter mentions immigration reform. Democrats want to pass a bill that would give a path to citizenship to 11 million people who are here illegally. Other estimates put the number at 15 million or more. Republicans see this as rewarding these folks for committing a crime, and besides, the Democrats would add millions of voters to their ranks. The GOP sees this as a bad thing and hopefully will try to defeat the bill.
As for Preble’s assertion that the GOP is trying to take away minorities’ right to vote: Not true. Laws to require an ID to vote extend to white voters as well. By the way, what is wrong about actually knowing who is voting in our elections?
As far as Obamacare goes, if people are in favor of that monstrosity, I only hope that they have to live under its rules and will report back to us in January to let us know how that is working out for them.
Del Ostergaard, La Vista
Selective enforcement is un-American
This country was founded on the principle of laws. Laws protect citizens’ rights, attempt to make enforcement equal and keep tyrants from taking over.
Our laws are sometimes enforced or not, depending on whether it feels or sounds good. Or we choose to enforce only part of the law, ignoring that with which we disagree. This is called tyranny.
An individual can do little against eminent domain when the government argues that taking your property is for the greater good. The government refuses to enforce immigration laws. Now, the government plans to release or not fully prosecute criminals. Why? Because an unelected bureaucrat has decided the laws are unfair.
The arguments for ignoring some laws may be right, but there is a legal process in place to change laws. When we decide which laws to enforce and which to ignore, then we have lost all semblance of democracy.
I’m sure Hitler, Stalin and Castro started out proclaiming that what they were doing was right and fair. But what’s right and fair to you may not be right and fair to me.
In other words, I don’t care what you believe in as long as you follow the same rule of law I have to follow. If we do not curb the powers that our government seems to think are its right, then we will all lose our individual rights forever.
Ginger Gosch, Omaha