Letters to the editor

Fuel standards As the owner of Palmetto Creek Farms, I am extremely concerned about the impact of this country's Renewable Fuel Standard on my business. Over the past three years, my farm has faced hardship and struggled to break even in the wake of rising grain and fuel prices. There are several aspects of the RFS mandate that put my business at risk. The corn I use to feed my livestock each day is becoming increasingly expensive as more than 40 percent of U.S. corn is now being used to produce ethanol. Farmers and refiners are now competing for this resource and my small farm can scarcely afford to pay the high prices caused by decreased supply and increased demand. The rising cost of corn is making gasoline more expensive as well. The fuel-operated equipment and vehicles required for heavy farm work make it more expensive to run daily operations. To make a bad situation worse, this biofuel is less fuel efficient and ethanol content beyond 10 percent (E10) could damage the fuel pumps and engines in my costly equipment.
The RFS poses a great threat to Palmetto Creek Farms. If Congress does not find a way fix this policy, it will continue to hurt small farms like mine and our ability to support our families. We need a common sense solution that will reform America's renewable energy policy. Jim Wood Avon Park Spreading democracy I have to laugh when I hear Obama and other American politicians claim that they want to spread democracy throughout the globe. They can start right here because the United States is a republic and is not remotely a democracy - not even close. We Americans have every right to voice our opinions on how things are done both here and in foreign countries. But I don't believe that gives us the right to impose our views on politics, religion and social issues with other nations. It certainly doesn't give us the right to invade other nations such as Hitler did when he invaded Poland and the Japanese did with their cowardly attack on our sleeping servicemen stationed at Pearl Harbor. The United States got dragged into World War II. We really wanted to stay on the sidelines. We need to protect our own porous borders better than what we now do. The Middle East has been in turmoil since forever and sadly, probably will always be so. I believe we may be causing some problems in that area by sticking our nose in where it doesn't belong. If Obama is concerned about oil from the Middle East, then why did he turn down Canada who wanted to partner with us in developing shale oil? Personally, Canada is one of the very few countries I trust. We have our own problems to solve in the U.S. I've heard that four out of five families now live in poverty and that four out of five American males are either unemployed or underemployed. The way we treat our veterans and seniors could be better, in my opinion. I do believe it's important for Americans to monitor what's going on in the world but that is as far as it should go. I have my own opinions on how the universe got started, and what I believe is right and wrong, and what each person's responsibilities to society should be. But I don't have the right to force my ideas on anyone else; just to share them with others and nothing more. Jerry Nargelovic Sebring