EDITORIAL: Around the world
Excerpts of editorial opinion from newspapers in the U.S. and abroad:
Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal on new EPA fracking rules:
The regulators at the federal Environmental Protection Agency listened to the concerns of the oil and gas industry. Then, they made adjustments in proposed air quality standards for the drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing. The result is the balanced approached unveiled recently, the industry gaining flexibility in the implementation, the agency fulfilling the mandate of the Clean Air Act, protecting public health and making an advance in mitigating climate change.
The process of fracturing involves injecting a combination of water, sand and chemicals into underground shale rock. This is followed by a “flowback,” the natural gas and other chemicals coming to the surface, resulting in emissions of methane, plus toxic, cancer-causing pollutants such as benzene and hexane. Nearby residents, along with environmental groups, have complained about health problems and other harmful effects.
Agency officials, thus, had an obligation to act, and to consult with the industry in devising the best way forward.
This is a national challenge, the 13,000 wells drilled each year requiring a uniform set of rules.
What the EPA has achieved isn’t simply a deft balancing act. It has orchestrated something consequential, no less than one of the country’s most productive efforts to combat climate change.
The Oregonian, Portland, on Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex:
Sen. Ron Wyden’s, D-Ore., recent daylong field trip from Tokyo to the zone of Japan’s nuclear devastation is worth at least a week in the telling. Bunny-suited with a breathing device for protection against radiation exposure, Wyden walked through the ruined Fukushima Dai-ichi complex and saw what few from the West have seen: another bomb waiting to go off.
The senator is not typically alarmist. But his field notes, followed by letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, signal alarm. They paint a picture of extreme nuclear vulnerability, especially in Reactor No. 4, inactive at the time of the quake and tsunami but wrecked by explosion. Continued...
Wyden completed his tour by asking Japan, with written urgings for help from Clinton and Chu, to sharply speed up a cleanup expected to take 10 more years. His fear is that another big seismic event will trigger another disaster before the cleanup is completed.
Neither Wyden nor U.S. officials can tell Japan what to do. But they can urge Japan’s leaders to consider not only the welfare of their own citizens but also their international neighbors.
Ottawa Sun on Omar Khadr and detention in Guantanamo:
If American soldiers had not saved Omar Khadr’s life, even after he killed one of their own, there’d be no bleeding hearts and drama queens urging the Harper government to immediately accept his application for transfer to Canada from a U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
If Afghan soldiers had ruled the day following that gun battle with al-Qaida, the seriously-wounded Khadr would have now been dead 10 years, and his existence would have been all but forgotten.
Instead, the then-15-year-old Canadian-born jihadist, now 25, wants to come “home” as part of a plea bargain in the United States that saw him get eight more years imprisonment after finally pleading guilty to various charges.
Just because Khadr was born in our country, however, does not mean we have to willingly accept his return.
What is Omar Khadr if not a threat?
– Compiled by The Associated Press
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