Doing away with census

 Here’s a thought. Why do we need a Census Bureau in today’s computer world? It’s another waste of money.

The IRS already has a list of all the taxpayers, plus their number of dependents, for a head count. Those who are not on that IRS list, should not be counted nor “represented on how our taxes should be spent. 

Don Bates

Santa Maria

Cat Canyon plan dangers

The real problems caused by climate change include more destructive forest fires, mud slides and more frequent drought. Our government leaders will soon be casting crucial votes on whether to allow massive new oil drilling.

Tobacco companies knew for decades their product sickens and kills. They covered up the facts, spent millions to confuse the issue, and lied until the truth became too obvious.

Organic chemicals that share molecular characteristics with the poisonous and cancer-causing substances in cigarettes are also found in and around oil company operations.

These companies want to expand drilling here. They have attempted to hide the facts about the harm done by their operations. They spend millions to muddy the public waters and to influence lawmakers. And they will continue to do this until we say “no.”

A report on ERG’s proposal for massive new drilling in Cat Canyon clearly states it would add “250,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent” to our atmosphere. Imagine an additional 550 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

Consider the possible mitigation of this impact. Would a plan to reduce by over 99 percent this greenhouse-gas dumping be truly verifiable and enforceable? Or is this a convenient tactic and contrivance, just as low-tar cigarettes were for tobacco companies?

How could we be sure about any claimed mitigation and how could the oil companies be held appropriately accountable if they failed to fully deliver over the 40 years of the project?

Our local governments need to continue to move forward in smart, healthful and sustainable directions, in ways that really bring jobs and that benefit our economy. They need to reject these new Cat Canyon projects.

After all, while they don’t bring in much new employment or tax revenue, they do cause significant problems and present thoroughly unacceptable risks.

Seth Steiner

Los Alamos

Thank you for local art displays

I want to thank the managers of the Town Center Mall for hosting two amazing free art shows right now, the Santa Maria Arts Council show and the Santa Maria Library Friends painted chairs event. It's terrific to see this support for the community and arts. I hope others take advantage of the chance to see some great work by local artists.

Matt Meddings

Santa Maria

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