Tennessee editorial roundup

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm •  Published: December 17, 2013

Recent editorials from Tennessee newspapers:

Dec. 16

The Post-Intelligencer, Paris, Tenn., on the horrible war that never happened:

Do you remember the great South African bloodbath of a generation ago, the all-out warfare between blacks and whites which violently ended generations of apartheid rule?

Of course you don't, because it never happened. Instead, the race-based power blocs in that segregated nation came together peacefully in what stands as a shining moment in world history.

Two such diametrically opposed and powerful forces would seem to have set the stage for a civil war of epic proportions. Instead, a peaceful transition of power was negotiated.

It's probably not accurate to say that Nelson Mandela was responsible for the historic settlement, but it's surely right to say that it wouldn't have happened without him.

He became the symbol of the key ingredient to the solution: Reconciliation.

The black majority of South Africa could have insisted on punishment for those who had oppressed their race for so long, and Mandela had reason to press that view. After all, he had spent 27 years in an apartheid prison. Justice, many would say, required vengeance.

But Mandela wisely saw the vast destruction that lay down that path. For the sake of the nation, he pressed an attitude of forgiveness.

As the first president of the newly constructed nation, he was the father of his country. Dead at 95, he was laid to rest in his humble ancestral village. May he rest in peace.




Dec. 17

The Tennessean, Nashville, Tenn., on air quality:

The winds of change are favorable to improved air quality in Tennessee and across the Southeast. We have seen progress recently from the Tennessee Valley Authority particularly. But is it enough to appease the states that are downwind of us?

Just one month ago, TVA's board of directors announced at their meeting in Oxford, Miss., that the utility will shift annual production of 3,308 megawatts of power from coal-generated plants in Kentucky and Alabama to cleaner sources. The result from an environmental standpoint: 15.6 million fewer tons of carbon pollution annually. And new TVA CEO Bill Johnson added that the utility has been directed to reduce coal to approximately 20 percent of its energy portfolio; undoubtedly aided by newly plentiful natural gas sources.

Earlier this year, TVA announced it is spending $1 billion on pollution controls at its Gallatin power plant.

The November announcement drew praise from organizations, including the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, that have long called for TVA to honor a commitment to minimize burning of fossil fuels and maximize conservation and renewable energy resources.

The kudos were mainly confined to our region, however. As a report in the Charlotte Observer last week noted, governors of Northern states have petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to set further reductions on air pollution from Tennessee, North Carolina and seven other states in the South and the Rust Belt.

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