News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Schools should place more emphasis on civics

To The Daily: Long has our Constitution been praised, around the world and at home. Our Constitution was influenced somewhat by the French revolution. The basic elements of freedom and democracy are present in both.

It is true that civics is not emphasized enough in our schools. Most citizens do not know the Bill of Rights, much less any of the other amendments. However, to blame the government for our ignorance is merely shifting the blame. When governments take our rights away, by force or by decree, it is our civic duty to resist.

Ignorance is not an excuse. Copies of our Constitution are readily available in bookstores, libraries and on the Internet.

Freedom is not free; it requires study and involvement. Leave it up to others, and your voice is not heard.

The schools should, indeed, emphasize civics more.

Armando de Quesada

Nucor Steel a responsible steward of environment

To The Daily: In your Sept. 19 article, “Luring Steel Customers: Decatur’s Nucor plans to develop industrial park,” many good things were said about our plans for business development in Decatur. I would like to clarify with accuracy one part of the article that misrepresented a joint agreement our corporation made with the EPA prior to our acquisition of this facility in Decatur.

This joint agreement with the EPA was not a court decision but rather an agreement to serve as a working model for improving air quality in the domestic steel industry. At the time of the referenced EPA agreement, the U.S. assistant attorney general stated that “Nucor will lead the industry by installing an estimated $85 million worth of state-of-the-art pollution controls.”

Nucor pioneered and utilizes the most advanced technology, which produces new steel from recycling. Nucor is the world’s largest recycler, having recycled more than 22 million tons of scrap metal in 2006.

Nucor has also been proactive in reducing emissions from our facilities. The data from the Massachusetts report cited in the article is from 2002. But by 2005, the same EPA data shows Nucor reduced its emissions more than 60 percent.

Nucor arrived in the Decatur area in 2002 to start up a bankrupt and shuttered steel mill. We have created nearly 700 new long-term jobs in a state that has lost on average 300,000 jobs per year since 1997.

We enjoy Alabama, but more specifically Decatur, and we are proud of our environmental and community stewardship.

K. Rex Query
Vice president, general manager
Nucor Steel Decatur

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