Re: Jonathan Weiler

It was great reading Jonathan Weiler’s article “New legislation endows president with extraordinary powers of detention” in your Dec. 14 issue. Weiler talks about the bipartisan support for legislation that gives the president extraordinary powers of detention. Weiler says it like it is, about things other writers hesitate to talk about. How refreshing!

Elizabeth S. Axtell

Re: Fracking in N.C.

“The majority is never right until it does right.” Arthur Miller’s prescient words, from his play An Enemy of the People, couldn’t be truer than in the issue of fracking. The quote was spoken by a doctor who discovers his town’s “healing” springs are contaminated with harmful bacteria that could sicken many people. He’s rejected by the town when trying to publicize the issue because of the effects on the town economy.

North Carolina lawmakers are hurrying to legalize fracking, some vowing to make it legal. The majority is not doing the right thing in this case, like in Miller’s play, where the mayor and townspeople do not take action about the springs. Although the economic benefits of fracking are attractive, the long-term effects on the environment and our health are not thoroughly known. The EPA released a report recently on fracking leading to contaminated groundwaterwho knows what else it might affect? Lawmakers should slow down the bill until we know more about the effects of fracking, which might be included in an EPA final report that will be released this coming spring.

Things do not become ethical or right just because the majority is in favor of it. We need to look into the effects of fracking before moving the fracking laws any further. The short-term economic benefits do not outweigh the potential long-term biological and geological damage. We should slow down or end the fracking bill until we’ve studied its effects on Earth and our health.

Marichi Gupta
Chapel Hill