Ethanol plant could cause problems

Letters to the Editor

With the talks about a proposed ethanol plant for Clovis, I have read the articles and listened to many comments about the air quality. But air quality is not my main concern. Mine is one I haven’t heard yet, at least not publicly.

The mixture of ethanol, grain dust and rail cars connecting is a possible disaster waiting to happen.

Ethanol is highly flammable as is grain dust. Mix that with a spark from trains connecting or a spark from anywhere in the area and the city has a disaster.

Another potential problem relates to hazardous leaks from one of three places: the plant itself, a rail car or a truck loading. How much of the town would have to be evacuated would depend on the wind speed and direction.

These are two problems combined into one. Is the fire department big enough? Do they have the resources to combat a massive explosion or contain a hazardous spill of this size?

Combine that with evacuating the area and we have potential again for disaster.
The firefighters in town are highly experienced and dedicated to the job, but I think they are fighting a monster bigger than can be handled with the resources they have.

Clovis is gambling on the future and we all hope we don’t lose. Clovis is growing fast, with businesses and houses going up all over. Has the fire department grown to cover all this growth, plus the new hazards of the ethanol plant?

I think we’re stretching the firefighters thin. The people should be worried about the fire hazards and spill hazards. If the commissioners voted 3-2 opposing the plant, but the plant is going anyway, maybe building permits should be denied. Let’s not gamble on so many lives just for money.

Steve Gershon

Political leaders should study history

Carol J. Labadie’s letter in Sunday’s CNJ (“Election results may cause U.S. harm”) referenced our leaders in 1941.

Unfortunately similar “leaders” to the incoming Democrats were in office in 1941. Throughout the 1930s, America and her Democratic leadership allowed Hitler to annex Austria, take the Rhineland, conquer Czechoslovakia and declare war on Poland while we remained officially “neutral.”

We also watched the empire of Japan move into the European colonies in the Pacific and build a formidable war machine. It took an actual attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor for the U.S. to declare war on Japan and Germany.

The second world war could have been avoided had the allied nations led by the United States confronted Hitler and the Japanese emperor during the mid-1930s.
Unfortunately a pullout from the Middle East will, as Labadie points out, demonstrate the weakness of the United States and its inability to prevent a 9/11 attack from occurring again.

Despite liberal media hype, we are facing an enemy far more dangerous than the organized and uniformed forces of the Axis empire. We have been attacked once with a loss of life that exceeded that of Pearl Harbor. A visit to the Arizona Memorial or a viewing of “Tora, Tora, Tora” illustrates the graphic end result of complacency and isolationism.

Hopefully the new leaders will study the mistakes of the 1930s and prescribe a course of action that will ensure victory.

Karl D. Spence