Home Critical engine Readers write: Prisons for women, electric cars and gas prices

Readers write: Prisons for women, electric cars and gas prices


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In the story “Trans Prisoner Sues DOC for Security” (June 11), we learn that transgender woman Christina Lusk is suing the Minnesota Department of Corrections to be transferred from a men’s facility to a women’s prison. . Transgender women like Lusk share a problem with biological women in the form of violent and predatory men, but sharing prison space with biological women cannot be the solution.

The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), a feminist organization, is currently suing the State of California on behalf of biologically female inmates to strike down the Transgender Respect Agency and Dignity Act (SB 132) which allows inmates to choose placement in a correctional facility. Masculine or feminine. installation based on self-declared identities. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit seek no monetary restitution, only security.

Lawyers for Lusk argue that placement of detainees should not be based on genitalia. WoLF Legal Complaint abstract well the problems and injustice of this position: “By requiring that women’s correctional facilities become coeducational facilities, SB 132 exposes incarcerated women to a significantly increased risk of physical and sexual violence, consequences of consensual or non-consensual sex with men (such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases), undermines women’s dignity of bodily safety and privacy, and removes the rehabilitation benefits women enjoy in an all-female correctional facility. these negative consequences do not fall equally on men in men’s correctional facilities because few incarcerated women (even women who claim a transgender or non-binary identity) want to be housed in a men’s facility, and because women ( regardless of the claimed identity) does not represent t not a threat of violence (or the consequence of pregnancy after sex) to men.”

Christina Lusk and other transgender women need correctional placements that provide them with dignity and safety, but this should not be accomplished by compromising the dignity and safety of biological women. An alternative solution must be found.

Susan Illg, St. Paul

The author is a member of WoLF.


The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association and its president, Scott Lambert, hate the idea of ​​having to stock more EVs, but not for the excess inventory excuse he said (“Auto dealers are trying again to stop “clean car” rules, June 9).

Interest in electric vehicles has never been higher, with most cars sold out before they reach dealerships. The new F-150 Lighting truck is now sold out for the next two years, with long waiting lists for most other EV brands. This makes sense, given high gasoline prices, very low maintenance requirements for electric vehicles, and excessive health burdens caused by outdated exhaust from internal combustion engines. I now save over $2,200 a year driving our Nissan Leaf — the equivalent of a gallon of gas costs less than $0.80. And EV drivers don’t contribute to the American Lung Association valued $14.9 billion in public health costs and 1,350 premature deaths from car exhaust and pollution in Minnesota.

Most important to Lambert’s position is the fact that electric vehicles, including our Leaf, have only 20 moving parts in their transmissions compared to 2,000 in a dirty fossil-fuel engine. Without oil, transmission fluid or belts to change, a trip to a dealership is rare.

A recent Sierra Club study found that three-quarters of U.S. dealerships don’t offer electric vehicles for purchase at all, and most of the rest don’t display them prominently or offer much sales support. . Unfortunately for consumers, dealerships make most of their profits from the service and see electric vehicles as a threat. The National Automobile Dealers Association has determined that 50% of a car dealership’s profits come from service and parts. Electric vehicles require far less ongoing maintenance than internal combustion vehicles, which erodes their most profitable source of revenue.

Perhaps the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association should focus on retraining its service technicians to install electric vehicle charging stations rather than fighting a desperately needed policy. Adopting Governor Tim Walz’s clean car standards will provide many more electric car, SUV and truck choices for Minnesota consumers, and will be key to meeting our climate goals for our beautiful state.

Mark AndersenWayzata


The Biden administration continues to tell people they can solve high gas prices by buying electric cars. But right now, electric cars aren’t the solution to soaring gas prices. Electricity does not come out of nowhere. Fossil fuels are needed to generate electricity. It’s great to plan for greener sources of energy, but at the moment wind turbines and solar panels do very little in this regard. A large majority of us cannot afford electric cars. And these cars need to be recharged, and there aren’t enough of these stations in the country right now.

And our addiction to fossil fuels is not limited to gasoline. Seniors like me on fixed incomes saw their heating bills double last winter, with the skyrocketing use of propane and fuel oil.

The Biden administration is not taking this crisis very seriously as it ignores everything with simple and unrealistic solutions like all Americans switching to electric cars. And Biden and his crew should take some responsibility instead of constantly pointing fingers at Vladimir Putin, Russia and big oil.

Tom R. Kovach, Nevis, Minn.


The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association dinosaurs are back – trying to kill the Walz administration’s “clean car” rules. The purpose of the rules is to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles and improve air quality. One of the effects of the rules will be to force manufacturers and dealers to offer more electric vehicles. As a consumer who has been purchasing an electric vehicle for several years, I can attest to the challenge of finding a wide selection of electric vehicles to choose from.

Dealerships complain that they will “find themselves stuck with unsold inventory” of electric vehicles. Really! Consumers currently have to wait months or years for electric vehicles, and some dealerships charge more than the list price to buy one.

From my point of view, the only problem with the “clean car” rules is that they do not require a conversion to zero-emission vehicles soon enough. The European Union is proposing a rule to ban internal combustion engines for new cars by 2035. Norway aims to achieve this target by 2025. General Motors has announced that it will stop producing internal combustion vehicles by 2035.

I have a policy proposal. Let’s change car dealer franchise laws so we can buy our electric vehicles directly from manufacturers or online dealers, and avoid having to deal with dinosaur dealerships.

Eric W. Forsberg, Golden Valley


As we enter another season of political campaigning, we will be bombarded with a slew of really dumb ideas from election candidates. One such idea that is in the news right now is a gas tax holiday.

Stupid, you say? I’m pretty scared. Look at the facts. At the heart of this price inflation is that sticky little economic principle known as the supply and demand curve. Two years ago, amid the COVID shutdowns, demand crashed and crude oil prices actually hit negative numbers. Now, as the effects of COVID wear off, exploding demand, while a war in Europe and Iranian oil sanctions disrupt global oil supplies, prices have soared. The public, according to the media, is outraged and demanding action.

So enter into a simple political solution. Eliminate state and federal gasoline taxes to reduce the cost to the consumer. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, by reducing the cost, you will naturally increase demand, which will cause prices to bounce back. In a few weeks, the effects of this tax holiday will be a distant memory and you will find yourself with angry consumers and an unfunded highway construction and maintenance account.

As the scholarly purveyor of 20th century political follies, HL Mencken, once said, for every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.

The gasoline tax exemption is just one more example of this principle.

Tom Baumann, Isanti, Minn.