Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 3, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(the Ctc^clttr i\tt pieta (^tt)fH’f
Thursday January 3, 1974
Food stamp pinch
CLIENTS in Uncle Sam s food stamp program can lie pardoned if they fail to view this week’s stamp allotment increase as a big windfall.
For one thing, the adjustment trails the skyrocketing price of food by many months. That is. allotment increases, averaging IS to 22 percent, approximately equal the 21.9-per cent hike in food costs recorded between August, 1972. and August of ’73 The increase thus arrives IK months after the onset of severe inflation and it reflects archaic midsummer prices.
• Meantime, any edge gained in food-stamp stretching is more than offset by price increases in nonfood necessities.
In addition, improvement in the lot of “average” food stamp recipients belies the burgeoning hardship for those whose low-income circumstances do not fit the family-of-four mold.
This drawback merits a closer look: Under the new (effective Jan. I) schedule, the family of four with adjusted net income of $382 monthly (the eligibility ceiling) will pay $104 for $142 worth of food stamps. This is a $20 increase in food stamps obtain-
To the Editor:
It seems to me that in these times of ■'turn down your thermostat.” “conserve electricity,” and “don't drive over ail m p h,” there is one segment of people not concerned about conserving: snowmobilers.
A pretty good percentage of people are changing habits to conserve, and others at least are thinking of ways to change and help conserve our natural resources ft’s a little bit difficult for the conservation-minded people to get very serious about it when we see snowmobiles running day and night through city and country
Maybe our energy priorities could be realigned, canceling the need for gasoline rationing.
ll Ash look Route J. ( enter Point
To the Editor
Until recently I’ve paid scant attention to beauty pageants, much less noticed who sponsored them However, the organizers of the local Miss Iowa pageant have won me over In fact. I find their reasoning applies beautifully to another local issue I demonstrate.
I don’t know what’s the matter with people who object to pornographic movies All those girls who have studied gymnastics — where else can they use if*
Pornographic movies might bo distasteful to people who could never be in them Those people are usually terribly bitter and disappointed persons who have never married They’re terribly bitter and most of them hate themselves Those who claim pornography exploits womens bodies should remember that many of the young ladies who appear are working their way through school And after all. most of their salaries are contributed by men
Suzzanne Humphreys 1718 Thirtv-second street NE
Another I jew
able each month (present allotment is $116) for $12 more dollars (requirement now is $92). Since a continuation of the stamps-to-cash ratio would have brought the family $131 in food stamps, tin* economic gain is obvious.
But individuals and families with large numbers of children are not so fortunate. According to the Community Nutrition Institute, a single individual near the upper end of the income eligibility scale will pay $4 more to receive $4 more in stamps. A household of two near the top of the scale will pay $12 more for a $12 increase And a household of 12 earning $870 a month must pay $73 more a month to get $53 more in food stamps.
Obviously, some food stamp recipients would prefer retaining the present schedule. That, however, is not possible. As Craig Harmon of Linn county social services has noted, agencies must turn down those seeking to pay the same and receive the same amount of stamps as before.
All of which suggests that, contrary to popular opinion, the necessity of depending on government subsidies for basic needs is no sleigh ride.
To the Editor:
In an editorial Dec. 5 The Gazette stated that the trapper is not a sportsman. If the trapper is cruel and not a sportsman, the fisherman must certainly not be a sportsman, either.
He sits quietly on the river bank or in a boat and dangles a big lure with treble hooks on it bt deceive the poor fish Think of all the pain the poor fish must go through with all those sharp hooks in his mouth with someone pulling on the line. Not to mention the poor worm some fishermen poke that sharp hook through After all the poor worm has a right to live also (Irene Coom he’s letter, Dec 28).
It has been proven by fish biologists that the harder a lake is fished, the bigger and healthier the remaining ones are The same is true in the animal world Tin- surplus must be harvested in order for the spines to survive.
Rudolph Ashbacher Hiawatha
The (rosette'* eililnrial jut tie welcome* rentier*' opinion nuhjert Ut them- tumid inc*:
l/Prmth limit nm mortis fin*- letter per writer even ¥1 days All may be condCTiHed and nilled without ••hanKinK meaning
Aion*1 published anonymously
Writers telephone number (no! printed 1 should follow name. address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate ((intents deal more with issu«>s and events than personalities No js*etrv
Should clean-air standards be relaxed because of the energy shortage?
By Congressional Quarterly
\SHINGTON — When President lixon appealed lo the country to dial thermostats down to 88 degrees, he echoed the advice environmentalists have been offering for years conserve energy. someday it might run out
Hut administration proposals to save oil bv relaxing clean air standards have provoked the ire of environmentalists, who oppose the retreat from hard-won anti pollution gams Some business men. who think congress overreacted to air is ii lilt ion problems, favor the proposals
Congress may choose a middle-ground approach bv relaxing some clean air standards on its own and granting the Environmental Protection Vgencv (EPA) authority to go further This was the path derided upon by house and senate conferees on emergency energy legisla
tion The hill failed to pass before congress adjourned for the Christmas holidays, hut probably will bo considered again when congress returns this month
The conference committee recommended that automobile emission standards scheduled lo go into effect in 197") he postponed until 1978 The conferees also proposed giving the EPA power to flirt her stretch those standards to include 1977 models.
For stationary sources of pollution, such as electric power plants, the conferees recommended extending the clean-up deadline for two years — until 1979 The EPA would he given authority to extend this deadline another year.
Should clean air standards be relaxed because of the energy shortage” Here arc arguments on both sides of the question
THE ENERGY crisis can he partly tram! to overly strict anti-pollution laws Some of these standards can be relaxed, at no appreciable danger to public health, and bring considerable
(’lean air regulations, in encouraging power plants to use cleaner fuels (natural gas and low -sulfur oil), have caused coal — relatively plentiful in America — to lay idle The EPA should take steps to swing the pendulum the other way, ordering plants to switch hack to coal and granting them temporary variances in clean air standards to continue using coal. Plants located in very populate or very polluted areas should get first crack at oil or low-sulfur coal supplies, hut those unable to obtain these supplies should Im* granted variances
The installation of stack-scrubbers will bring eoal-hurning plants in line with clean air requirements, but the devices may he in such short supply that plants will not he able to meet the 1979 cleanup deadline In this case, the EPA should authorize a one-year delay — until 19KU — to meet the standards.
Older plants that will he obsolete bv 19K0 should be exempted, for economic reasons, from installing stack scrubbers
In the area of auto emissions, adherence to clean air act deadlines is unnecessary in light of the energy crisis. Shortages of gas will help alleviate auto pollution, anyway. As Ford Motor Company official Herbert E. Misch told a house subcommittee recently. “If the gasoline shortage is going to be lo percent . . then vehicle emissions will obviously improve by that same lo percent.”
To meet the 1975 emissions standards, auto companies will need to install catalytic converters in 1975 model year cars Catalysts require unleaded gas to function properly, and low-sulfur fuel to avoid emitting dangerous sulfates Refining both these fuels causes a loss in crude oil In addition, a step-up in demand for unleaded gas could result in shortages Some motorists would use unleaded gas to avoid being stranded.
The auto companies need more time to re-engineer pol I ut ion-con trot systems, and should not he required to spend it updating a system — the catalyst — which will Im* abandoned eventually Accordingly. the EPA should extend the 1975 standard to 1977
Emissions controls may not even In* needed at all in 90 to 95 percent of the nation Rep Louis (’ Wyman a New Hampshire Republican whose amendment to cut back emissions control requirements in these areas was rebuffed on the house floor, estimates such a miv |>ension could save 300,000 barrels of nil a day.
THE ENERGY crisis should no! he used by industry and government as an excuse to wipe out three years of progress in fighting air pollution
Foremost should be a consideration for public health, the motivating factor behind the clean air act If low -sulfur fuel supplies and health hazards are low,
The Gazette's Opinion
Values need balance
UNDERLYING all considerations as to policy for coping with the present and impending energy shortage is one big if: If shortages of fuel get bad enough to seriously cripple transportation of all kinds, repercussions down the line will be* severe — in manufacturing that touches many fields, in service, in related industries, entertainment, tourism, lodging, fast food and many more.
The over-all effect of paralyzing shortages on the nation’s whole economy in turn would be harmful with respect to employment, corporate earnings, personal income — all the elements that determine whether there is relative prosperity or genuine depression through the land. It follows that an utmost effort to counter the shortage and avert conditions of depression is wise in the face of this threat.
Without in any way abandoning the nation’s longrun commitment to a cleaner, healthier environment, it is fair to go along with short-run adjustments that may stretch available fuel supplies, keep production going, keep employment up. and maintain a stable economy through emergency times.
This means there can be prudent deadline setbacks and TEMPORARY letups in clean-air action by industry IF scarce supplies of fuel will significantly stretch thereby. This means, especially, there can Im* deadline put-offs and a relaxation of automobile pollution controls to keep people moving through the gasoline shortage: Im*ss gas burned less cleanly still should leave the over-all pollution from this source no worse than it would be from more gas burned more cleanly if the shortage hadn’t come.
Above all, clean-air policy should specify that once the fuel crunch has been effectively survived, the original thrust against pollution takes hold again and carries through intact.
some leeway can De tolerated in the interim standards that apply to coal-burning power plants But by the 1979 deadline, these plants should have installed scrubbers or other emissions cleaning devices. The EPA should not v lek! on this date.
Allowing the EPA to grant variances impinges on I hi* states’ right to regulate stationary source air pollution through their own implementation plans and enforcement procedures This alters the philosophy of the clean air act. which was written to let states implement the law through specific regulation. A thorough public hearing process should he dev ised to allow the states a voice iii the EPA s decisions to order plants to convert to coal and grant variances tied to fuel shortages
The catalyst system of auto emissions control is not an ideal solution, hut it is more efficient and less wasteful of ga** than current devices. The loss in crude oil occurring when unleaded and low sulfur gasoline is refined is offset by increased auto efficiency and gas mileage.
I nleaded gas should he used any wav because, according to EPA deputy administrator John R Quarles, jr.. "the public health t>cnefits we can expect more than justify what I believe can he considered as minimal economic and energy-related costs ”
General Motors has already decided to implement the 1975 standards and will install catalysts in 1975-model ears. Companies complying with the regulations should not he penalized because others fought the issue The auto manufacturers’ assertion that they need lead time to design late-1B7IK ears should prompt the EPA administrator to make dear an intent to not extend the deadline another year to 1977
Those who fear crude oil penalties as a result of emissions controls and gas refining reforms should consider the energy losses caused by air-condlt loners and other power extras on cars Removing these devices could bring a fuel saving of up to 29 percent without endangering anyone's heulth Taxes on car size and gas consumption should indeed Im* considered, hut energy savings should not Im* made at the expense of clean air
Wallace second, pulling rural vote
E. Kennedy front-runs in Democratic pack for ’76
By Louis Harris
The Marrt* Survey
DESPITE the fact that he ran behind Vice-president Gerald Ford 48-44 percent in a recently published Harris trial heat for the presidency in 197ti, Sen Edward Kennedy retains a wide lead as the Democratic nominee favored by Democrats and independents
Kennedy amasses 31 percent of the “first choice” votes, compared with Id percent for (tov George Wallace, and ll percent for Sen Edmund Muskie
Recently the Harris Survey asked a nationwide cross-section of 1,007 Democrats and independents
For th# 1976 Democrottr nomination (or President, if you Hod to (Hoot# right now, who from this Int would b« your first choir# for th#
"lf you ro planning on borrow ing th0 bicycle tonight, the ontwer is no
Dem* A lad*
Sen Edward Kennedy
Go* G#o«g# Wallace
Son Edmund Muskie
Sen Henry jock ton
Sen Georg# McGovern
Sea Walter Mandate
Senator Kennedy builds his lead among the rank and file of the Democratic party He is particularly strong among young people under 30 where he is the preferred cholee of 40 percent among voters on the East and West Coasts; among blacks, where he wins HO percent of the preferential votes, and among union members, where he gains 35 |w*r-cent support
Fundamentally, Kennedy s appeal follows the pattern of the old New Deal coalition of the young, the minorities. big-city voters, and union labor However, there is real doubt today that this any longer constitutes a working electoral majority in the America of the 7th*
(iovernor Wallace is the preferred choice in the South although perhaps surprisingly by only a narrow 27-28 percent ovtr Senator Kennedy, who shows strength among blacks and young, white voters in that region Wallace also does well in the Midwest, with 17 percent of the first choices there
This is significant, because of
previously strong Wallace runs in midwestern primary states, such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana Wallace’s appeal is strong iii rural areas, among the least well-educated, and white Protestants He receives almost no black hacking at all.
Both Kennedy and Wallace run relatively weaker among the college-educated, professional people arid business executives, all of whom are moving up sharply as important proportions of the electorate
Among the college-educated for example, Muskie, Jackson, McGovern, and Mondale in the aggregate receive 45 percent of that vote, compared with a combined Kennedy arid Wallace total of .38 percent
By contrast, among the skilled labor group, the combined Kennedy and Wallace totals are 57 percent while the other leading possibilities add up to no more than 24 percent
These results suggest that unless the
Democ rat ie party can find unity behind a candidate who can appeal to tile emerging educated, suburban, and independent voters, a Kennedy Wallace confrontation in a series of bruising primary contests might severely damage Democratic prospects in 1978
Governor Wallace has already indicated that he will run for re-election in Ma bania this year And this could signal a try for the nomination again in 1978 despite the wounds he received in the attempt on his life iii 1972 Senator Kennedy has kept his options open
The danger of a Kennedy W allace contest is that the swing, independent, better educated groufw might well sit on the sidelines during the primaries and vote Republican In the general election
The showing of Senator Muskie runs to a pattern that was familiar in his previously strong showing in the early [Mills of 1971) and 1971 He still has real ap|M-al among the better educated more affluent, and independent voting seg
ments of the electorate He also ap|»cars to he the recipient of a sympathy vote from the Watergate disclosures of attempts to sabotage his 1972 run
Senator Henry Jackson of Washington is well positioned at 9 percent at this early stage, with substantial hacking from independent voting groups He holds Ins own with the union vote, hut is also able to score well among professionals, white-collar, and suburban voters
Senator Walter Mondale is lesser known than the others — much as Senator McGovern was ut this tune two years ago Ills present strength is concentrated among the college educated, professional people, and voters iii his native Midwest
Others tested who received no more than 2 percent of the first-choice vote were Sen Birch Bayh of Indiana, Sen Floyd Ben (sen of Texus, former Gov Terry Sanford of North Uarolina, Gov Jimmy ( arter of Georgia, and Gov Kcuhin Askew of Florida
(Sn CKK) f r ibuo# N#« York Synduale