ASARCO’S LEGAL LEGACY
We now know that for nearly a decade the El Paso Asarco plant deliberately burned toxic waste for profit; the EPA says so, in a formerly secret D.O.J.-Asarco settlement document I got in 2006 and released to The New York Times.
To this day we do not have dioxin, PCB, actinoid or other data for our area around the El Paso smelter. We know that Asarco waste is in our river and the international Hueco Bolson aquifer. We know that if the area of concern is as large as Tacoma’s, the El Paso Asarco effect would extend at least 30 miles out in radius and have an impact on the siting of extremely important business plans, such as the routing of Ferromex freight from the new Baja Mexico port of entry up through Santa Teresa just a few miles west of the smelter site, and the building of the connecting highways that must go up in the shadow of the smelter stack. There are huge potential economic impacts from the toxic waste. It is tasteless, odorless, and can’t be seen.
May God help us, because our politicians, including New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, are not. This entire region is an environmental sacrifice zone of enormous proportions.
Heather McMurrayPosted at www.texasobserver.org
TICKLED BY FIDDLERS
I totally enjoyed this article (“Instruments of Peace,” Oct. 31). Who knew this? I surely didn’t. Wonderful piece.
Margaret FitchPosted at www.texasobserver.org
TAKING A TOLL
I wonder if the owners of any toll road to be built would remain interested if they couldn’t have the concession rights. Following existing rights-of-way is of no interest to them, as it would upset their cash cow. We need to get the Texas Legislature to quit diverting money from the gas tax to other projects that do not pertain to building highways. Texas already has all the rights of way it needs, and we need to go back to the pay-as-you-go days to build freeways. It worked before the diversion of highway-fund money to feel-good projects like bike trails, rail to nowhere, rural bus routes that no one rides, and million-dollar rest stops, etc.
Bob HillPosted at www.texasobserver.org
REFRAMING THE DEBATE
I read Bob Moser’s piece with interest (“Blue Day Rising,” Oct. 17). But I think he is missing a key piece of the puzzle: the need for progressives and Democrats to construct a compelling narrative that is convincing to the electorate.
It is fine to review the “horse race” aspects of the current political climate, and to dream of a day when things finally turn around, but the fact is that our side needs better tools of analysis and persuasion.
HOME IS WHERE THE WHEEL IS
Sounds like this story was written by an angry young Democrat (“The Winnebago Vote,” Oct. 3). The fact is that Escapees include members of all political parties. I myself am a Democrat.
I subscribe to the newspaper to keep informed of local issues and, though I travel most of the time, I try to return to Livingston at least once a year.
Steven BallPosted at www.texasobserver.org