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Re-Write Letter #3

In her recent opinion piece (“Community Voices: Don’t bite the county that feeds you,” July 11), state Sen. Shannon Grove argues that people who oppose continued oil drilling in Kern County are “out of touch” with what our county needs; the reality is what we need most is a responsible transition away from fossil fuels, to protect our health, our climate, and our economy.   

Climate change is not a made-up problem or something far off in the future. Our community is already experiencing extreme weather from climate change, as well as the pollution that the oil industry dumps into our air and water every day. The American Lung Association rates the county an F in ozone and particle pollution. The cost of the destruction of health is nowhere near the $200 million the oil and gas industry paid the county for, with health risks including cancer, pre-term births, and over 30% of kids under 17 diagnosed with asthma. The oil industry is on its way out, and transitioning to clean energy is inevitable; it’s happening right here whether we like it or not.  

Kern County can either embrace its role as a leader in energy and meet the challenge of an economic transition to clean energy or continue with business as usual, relying on a single source of revenue and allowing oil executives to reap massive financial benefits while our community suffers from toxic air and water left behind. Elected officials who want to keep us in the past are the ones who are really out of touch with what Kern County needs. 


-Mercedes Macias, Tehachapi


Dear my folks, I know that we all love our liberal agenda. It is our home, our livelihood and I believe that none of us want our community to be contaminated. Environmental pollution in general is a far-reaching issue that we have spent decades to combat and it is never, as you can see, an easily solvable problem. I would not say about the stuff of environmental issues again as if you are a caring person to our national affairs, or at least to yourself, you must relentlessly have heard of many speeches and seen many daily newspapers about how destructive our surroundings are and how people were making attempt to protect them, from everywhere and every time in our country. And at this moment, we are no longer a passive audience who just read and comment about those matters and other’s actions, it is time we became a protagonist for our own life, our health and economy.  As I have mentioned above, dealing with an environmental issue is always complex and oil drilling in our Kern County is not an exception: It is an incremental process. That’s as to why a transition to a green energy is inevitable and we have to experience it now or later, no matter we like it or not. Whether Kern County will play its leading role as a clean energy initiative once facing an initial economic recession as a trade-off or continue with its business as usual and leave its workers and civilians suffering from toxic air and water resources depends on how much we can love and respect ourselves and our community. I do know how much time, effort, and prices it would take us to make it but as long as we still love our community, that day is inevitable.

– Bill Platton, Bakersfield

Stop exaggerating about climate change (Letter #2 rewrite)

I am commenting on a column that appears on your website on June 17 by Gene Lyons: “America gains nothing from denying global warming.” 

In his criticism of President Trump’s decision to get out of the Paris Agreement, Gene Lyons dismisses the coal industry as “dirty” and describes the unemployment of coal miners as inevitable by concluding: “it’s going to happen anyway.” This claim is beyond exaggerating because, despite the controversy on coal, it is still a desirable and predictable form of fuel, therefore, it is unlikely for coal miners to be unemployed. Furthermore, Lyons’ went on to inaccurately demonize the coal industry despite the latest statistics from the Department of Labor released in May recorded an increase in mining jobs by a whopping 44,000 since last October, showing that mining is once again thriving in America. Lyon’s claim about coal miners inevitably becoming unemployed is clearly false. There is a rising trend in coal mining employment, which further suggests the rising in coal demand. 

Despite the controversy on coal, we can’t deny that clean coal provides an affordable and abundant supply of electricity to many homes and businesses. It is estimated that over “one-third of global electricity is supplied by coal.” So it is irresponsible to falsely make exaggerated claims about climate change to try and close down the industry that allows one-third of global business to thrive.

Tom Harris, Executive Director Internation Climate Science Coalition, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Further edited by Sonyta Bun

Letter Set #1 Rewrite

It is so easy to blow off health care reform if you are healthy.  But countless others and I stare at our inevitable demise as we feel left to die.

I am 62 and every day I grow weaker.  I have congenital myasthenia gravis syndrome and there is no cure.  I choke often and I cannot get up without help if I fall.  I cannot climb stairs at all.  I cry internally as I am left to slowly deteriorate exteriorly as people turn their backs on me.

But I want to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible and so does everyone else who shares this burden with me.  An estimated 40% of the United States population has a chronic disease, so why are we being abandoned?

I believe that it is our right as American citizens that have done what we could for our world to have a chance to survive, to live.  I have applied for long-term health care insurance five times and have been shut down five times.  Even the people at AARP, whose sole purpose is to help people over fifty years old live our lives as we see fit, shut me and countless others down.

Please, people of Pennsylvania, think about me and the millions of others that are and will be fighting this battle against our fatal diseases.  We cannot win this downhill battle without your genuine support.


Letter set #3 rewrite

Pushing the liberal agenda is what is wrong with society. Oil is a necessity that the entire world depends on, without it our economy would start to crumble. The use of clean energy is beneficial for everyone and needs to be on the forefront of  research and development in our country.  Although wind and solar energy is expensive through more development it could be made cheaper so even the poor could afford it. The idea of taxing the middle class is worthless because it will end up just leading to more poverty within communities. Another liberal ideal that is detrimental to our country is the banishment of firearms. In a survey of Prison inmates it was found that 93% of the firearms were obtained through another source then a person purchasing it legally. This means even if the sale of guns were completely banned criminals would still be able to get their hands on weapons. The final talking point of the liberal agenda that I will go over is the idea of defunding the police. Taking away the polices money and power will only sky rocket the amount of crime committed in the streets. Crime won’t go down without police because cops aren’t the reason people steal, rape, and murder. There are just sick people in the world who don’t care about the difference between right or wrong. Liberals need to understand that through their crooked agenda they will only worsen the issues at hand.

-“Billium Pattonson, Bakersfield Town”

Letter #2 Rewrite

To the editor,

I am commenting on a column that appears on your website on June 17 by Gene Lyons: “America gains nothing from denying global warming.”


In his criticism of President Trump’s decision to get out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, Gene Lyons dismisses the coal industry as “dirty” and describes the unemployment of coal miners as inevitable by concluding: “it’s going to happen anyway.”


This assessment of the coal mining industry is ill-informed; the mining industry is responsible for the employment of 297,000, which, compared to the industry in 2005, has increased employment by roughly 30,000.  The coal mining industry is clearly still growing.


In states that rely on coal powered electricity, the cost of electricity is 30 percent less then states that rely on other forms of electricity.  Coal mining benefits citizens living in these states by lowering their cost of living.


Trying to close down the industry due to exaggerated climate change concerns makes no sense.

letter set #1 Rewritten

Everyone has their own personal demise to deal with. You wake up everyday and struggle with your situation. But we don’t know what tomorrow has prepared for us all. As unpredictable as tomorrow is we should all prepare. I’m a 62 year old man who had a busy life like you lot but now here I’m crumbled in bed due to the illness I have.

You would think as an American citizen your health insurance isn’t something to worry about ,well take it from someone who once thought the same but got disproved. Above 40% of the peoples living in America are between the age of 50 and suffering  from chronicle illness. What does this indicate, with no guaranteed health insurance 40% of the population is at risk. Like all the worries keeping you at night this should also be one of your worries, because one day god forbid you may fall in that 40% category or your loved ones might.

I’ve applied for long-term health care insurance five time and gotten rejected all five times due to a pre-existing condition and this includes two rejects from AARP. Here I’m everyday fighting for my survival and raising awareness.

Citizen of America don’t blow off health care reform because everyday we are all coming to that critical period of time or our loved once are. Think about others and your future before you blow off health care reform.

Letter Set #2 Revision

The letter “Electric energy vs. fossil fuels” (Aug.7) pointed out that in 2017 the United States derives 3.1 percent of its energy from wind and solar energy. However, in 2012 we were deriving 1.6 percent of our energy from renewable resources. If the contributions of wind and solar doubles every five years, how long will it take for it to replace most other forms of energy?

The letter also points out the Earth’s climate has been changing forever, which is true. However, the main factors in climate change are small, predictable changes in the Earth’s orbit, which changes the amount of sunlight striking the Earth. On the other hand, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air has risen by 40 percent in the last decade, which correlates with the generally rising trend in global temperatures, with most areas in the world getting warmer rather than cooler. The claim from the letter is that orbital changes is the cause for these changes does not mention that the Earth is predicted to slowly cool over the next 20,000 years, which has not been displayed by global data in recent years.

The letter also says that the climate will change until the sun is extinguished and all life on Earth will vanish. Life as we know it will vanish much sooner if we do not curb our carbon emissions.

Letter Set #2 Rewrite

To the editor,

I am commenting on a column that appears on your website on June 17 by Gene Lyons: “America gains nothing from denying global warming.”

Gene Lyons rejects the coal sector as “dirty” and describes the unemployment of coal miners as inevitable in his condemnation of President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, concluding, “it’s going to happen anyway.”

Lyons’ portrayal of the coal business as evil is untrue; the most recent labor figures show that mining in America is once again booming. Statistics from the Department of Labor released in May recorded an increase in mining jobs by a whopping 44,000 since last October which is significant because it contradicts the “inevitable condemnation” of coal miners.

Many homes and companies in Oklahoma have access to affordable and plentiful electricity because to clean coal. Coal accounts for over one third of the state’s electric generation because it is an affordable way to supply millions of homes and businesses with electricity.

In conclusion, the coal industry is thriving in Oklahoma, so the thought of closing the industry is not practical in the long run. The state clearly depends on coal as a huge source of energy, and needs the coal industry in order to satisfy the many homes and businesses in the state of Oklahoma.


Letter #1 rewrite

It is easy to blow off health care reform if you are healthy. However, for people with chronic conditions, it is an uphill and ongoing battle. More than 40% of Americans suffer from chronic illness and the system is failing them. Although you may be healthy, odds are one of your loved ones will one day suffer from a chronic illness.

I am 62 years old and living with congenital myasthenia gravis syndrome for which there is no cure. Sure, I am living, but I do not feel alive. Every day I grow a little bit weaker, and I tire so easily that no amount of sleep can keep me active through an entire day. Although my mind remains sharp, my body is deteriorating daily.

I have applied for long-term health insurance five times and have been rejected five times. I have been turned down five times because I have a pre-existing condition, including two rejections from AARP.

The goal of long-term health insurance is to help cover the costs of care when you have a long-lasting chronic disease and help people live as independently and safely as possible. That sound great, doesn’t it?

It would be if that system hadn’t failed me. Our health care system is broken and needs reformed. I am responsible for the cost of anything medical-related: doctor’s visits, medications, scans, etc. They are expensive, but necessary for me to be able to live my life, and as I said, I am barely living. I have depleted all my assets to cover these expenses.

Is that the life you’d want for someone you love? Sacrificing everything to cover medical expenses and life a half-full life. I am trapped in a body too feeble and incapable to provide me the beautiful life I once lived.

Reform is needed. To create a system that can’t turn me and others like me away, leaving us without insurance, to not only suffer with our illness, but financially ruined because of seeking help.

Please, people of Pennsylvania, think about how the system is failing me and how one day someone you love could be standing in my shoes. Do not blow off health care reform because you are not directly affected. One day you could be, and you would wish that there were people in your corner to advocate for you. Please, every day that goes by without change is sight is a day I lose a little more hope.

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