Are we ready to have a return to Cancer Alley? Listening to the TV ads for U.S. senator that say Dr. Bill Cassidy wants to get the federal government out of regulating Louisiana’s chemical business, I fear he is proposing a return to Cancer Alley. Now, I see in this morning’s The Advocate that Rep. Steve Scalise wants to get the Environmental Protection Agency out of regulating chemical manufacturing facilities. It was about 50 years ago that I first heard about Cancer Alley and definitely do not want a return to that, but I am afraid this is what some of our politicians are proposing.

Then I read in The Advocate on the letters page that a charter school advocacy group is putting Louisiana education at the top of the list for becoming a powerhouse nationally. I have a hard time reconciling that with the fact that Louisiana usually ranks between 48th and 50th worst in the nation for K-12 achievement. I have to question the author’s facts or figures, or at least ask him to show his source of facts. It’s about time we tried to improve the public schools instead of trying to privatize them. And it is about time we started to get honest about what we are proposing.

My last point: We need an increase in gasoline taxes to help improve our aging roads. Now, with the cost of gasoline dropping rapidly, would be the ideal time for an increase, but I am afraid that this might interfere with our governor’s attempt to run for a federal office, and our Legislature does not have the backbone to defy him. I wonder if we could get the Koch brothers to offer Gov. Bobby Jindal a job so we can start to move forward here in Louisiana.

Ray Schell

retired chemist