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Issue Home June 29, 2010 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

The Future Of Farmers

I am once again writing what seems like something I wrote back in 1987, or 1994, or 2000. I will once again write because it is in my blood to help the dairy farmers.

Gerald Carlin wrote a very well put together letter explaining to the public about a new concept that national milk producers federation have for the future of dairy farmers.

Over the past few months the farmers have been doing their best to get a new law into effect, and it is held up by one thing or another.

My point being, is you, the public have to go along with any new law that our government comes up with.

I can see already most of you are putting down this newspaper, or turning the page. Who cares anymore? Well I'll tell you, you all better care. These laws dealing with how much the farmers get paid are made for your benefit. The farmers need your help to contact everyone in the USDA and food and drug (just write to our president).

The farmers are working to keep you, the public, full of good ice cream and sweet treats for the long hot summers. The only difference, the increase in price that you see is going up, is the dairy farmers only get maybe one tenth of one percent, and that’s not enough to keep him in business - but how would you know. It is safe and awfully good.

The people who say they are doing the best for the farmers are like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I know that for sure, anybody who can read should know this by now.

The farmers’ price is set by a complicated system that is set that way so the farmers fight between themselves - and that’s good because the co-operatives don't want the producer to agree on one thing. Separate and divided, if they lose the producers they lose their free meal ticket. See the farmers pay for everything, like hauling and testing and sanitation and temperature of milk and thousands of dollars to protect (your safe food supply). The farmers pay the co-ops to market milk and are told that they, who represent the producers, are giving all they can, yet the farmers are losing millions each day.

Please, the next milk marketing meeting you hear about, go to it - they are all open to you the public. The time to help American dairy farmers is just like the fishermen in the gulf, so please help them.


Peter A. Seman

Thompson, PA

The Seventh Sign

The relief well: it is the great white hope vs. the black lava of an erupting undersea volcano. The contest pits man's mightiest machines, the latest technology, and not a little luck, against the untamed, titanic pressures of Vulcan. Victory is by no means certain.

BP started drilling the first relief well May 2. It is the last hope to cap the Gulf gusher. If all goes perfectly - no hurricanes, mechanical breakdowns, or deterioration in the original drill site - it will be completed late August. The odds argue for a latter date.

The new well is parallel to the troubled well and about a half a mile away. The operation mirrors the same dangers and uncertainties that overcame the first well. As the borehole nears the oil-bearing stratum, it must navigate through a minefield of high-pressure pockets of oil and gas that could cause another blowout. Drilling proceeds with the greatest caution.

Under one mile of water and 10,000 feet beneath the seabed, the 20-inch relief well will turn diagonally, drill an additional 3,000 feet to intersect with the 20-inch borehole of the troubled well.

It sounds impossible. But sensors on the drilling head relay directional information to computers which construct a 3-D image. Drillers use this picture to guide the drilling bit. However, nothing in life or on a drilling rig comes with a guarantee of success.

The probability of hitting a bull's-eye the first time is low. Last August a runaway well in 150 feet of water took five tries. Drillers had to pull back each time, fill the misguided link with cement, and make another pass, a procedure that takes days. Moreover, just hitting the borehole is not good enough. The boreholes must intersect perfectly.

Inside each borehole is a 7-inch pipe, the casing. It is the two casing pipes that must meet head-on. This is the crucial juncture. Once joined, heavy drilling mud will be pumped into the errant well. The hope is that as the mud is pumped into the uncontrolled well and ascends the 13,000-foot casing pipe, at some point the weight of the mud will overcome the upward pressure of the oil and gas thus stopping the gusher. That's the hope.

Last month's top kill was a similar yet opposite procedure. Top kill tried to force drilling mud down the blown-out well using pumps powered by a gigantic 30,000-hp diesel engine. This engine was five times more powerful than one that drives a locomotive. Yet it failed. The pressure of the subterranean oil was too great.

How great?

The blowout preventer on the Deepsea Horizon was rated at 15,000 psi, ten times the average wellhead pressure. The pressure of the gas bubble that sent the oil platform to the bottom was 40,000 psi, according to an on-site rigger. The question is this: Is it even possible to contain the gargantuan pressure of this pipeline to hell?

A Hopi prophecy: “This is the Seventh Sign: You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it.” When this happens, “the ceremonies of my people will cease.”


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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