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Creating jobs does not justify polluting our air, water and soil

To The Daily Sun,
Rep. Frank Guinta wrote to me on Jan. 30: "As you may know, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced H.R. 5844, the Protect our Public Land Act in the 113th Congress. This legislation amends the Mineral Leasing Act and would ban hydraulic fracturing on public lands. It was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, and from there referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

Hydraulic fracturing is an energy extraction method in which pressurized liquid is injected deep into rock formations, creating cracks and freeing natural gas and petroleum. Raising my family in New Hampshire, I understand the importance of protecting our environment. The Granite State is home to thousands of acres of pristine forests, and people from around the world come to New Hampshire to enjoy our state's natural surroundings."

On Feb. 2 he wrote: "On January 28, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 351 with my support in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 277-133. As you know, H.R. 351 was introduced by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) on Jan. 14, 2015. If enacted, this legislation would expedite the approval process of exporting natural gas from the United States to trading partners around the world. It would require the Department of Energy to approve applications to construct a liquefied natural gas export terminal within a specified period after an environmental review has been conducted.

"Increasing LNG exports will help strengthen our economy and create American jobs while increasing energy security. It is estimated that by 2018, the construction of new LNG export projects will create up to 45,000 American jobs. It allows us to send a message to oppressive regimes that we are not reliant on them for our energy needs."

So fracking is not okay, but it's okay to export LNG (liquefied natural Gas) to our trading partners? Has this LNG been produced by some other method than fracking? Fracking is one of the topics covered by Naomi Klein, in her new book, "This Changes Everything." Fracking should be banned everywhere in the world. It's dirtier than coal, permanently polluting our groundwater, despite what a slick TV ad says. But if the LNG is already here, we should make some money on it? Is that the idea? If it's already here, we should do something with it?

It has become obvious to me that we need to wean ourselves from fossil fuels, conserve more energy, and invest in renewables. Creating jobs does not justify polluting our air, water, and soil, anywhere in the world, and I still wonder how many new jobs will actually be created. Fixing our broken infrastructure and installing solar panels and other forms of renewable energy would probably produce many more jobs, strengthen the economy more, and increase national security more, in the long run.

Dick Devens

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Cordon off 4th floor of Belmont Mill & use old bank for town offices

To The Daily Sun,

The current proposal of renovating the old mill into a Town Hall Facility, in my opinion, is not in the best interest of the taxpayers and residents of the Town of Belmont. The cost of renovating and converting structure problems is way more expensive than new construction. The cost is quoted at approximately $225-per-square-foot, whereas the cost for new conventional office space is approximately $150-per-square-foot.

The size of the four-story mill is much more space than what is needed. My suggestions would be to cordon off the fourth floor and not invest in the space for renovation, move the senior center to the first floor and provide space for the Parks & Rec Department on that level as well. Allow the Belmont Family Health Care Center to take the needed space for their expansion into the second floor. This will then allow them to make the necessary lease hold improvements for their needs for both the second and third floors.

I have looked at the Northway Bank Building, which the town recently purchased for $250,000. I believe this structure is in excellent condition structurally and is located directly on Main Street and with improved expansion, architectural enhancements could and should function as a town hall facility at a much more reasonable budget.

I would also suggest that it would serve our community well to reappoint the building needs committee to regroup and come up with a better plan. I also think that a new bond should include the upgrade of the Belmont Police Station, which is probably more in need of attention than the town hall. There is no urgency to move the proposal that will be voted on March 10.

I agree with Donna Hepp's statement, that "Belmont needs a better Capital Investment Program".

Mark A. Mooney


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