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January 25, 1974 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-01-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 1974

Nature loses to energy

PRESIDENT NIXON'S address to Con-
gress Wednesday included four pro-
posals to boost the nation's energy sup-
plies - to the detriment of the environ-
ment. He called for relaxation of the
Clean Air Act standards, modification of
offshore drilling structures, recommended
building an Alaska natural gas pipeline
and speeding up construction of nuclear
power plants.
The Clean Air Act, a landmark victory
for environmentalists, was designed to
reduce air pollution. Now Nixon insists
that the nation continue poisoning its air
in order to increase energy efficiency.
Santa Barbara citizens are no doubt
not exactly delirious with joy at the pros-
pect of additional offshore drilling. Oil
slicks are an ecological nightmare, and
the inhabitants of coastal areas do not
want to witness others.
Another Alaska pipeline would be ana-
thema to environmentalists because of

the massive disturbances it could easily
cause to the Alaskan environment.
LIKEWISE, NUCLEAR power plants
could mean enormous upsets of local
environments. Nixon promises that the
plants will be built "without compromis-
ing safety or environmental standards,'
but it is not yet clear that adequate safe-
ty and environmental standards exist.
President Nixon's proposals are seen as
a major setback to conservationists, who
have worked hard and long for legislation
such as the Clean Air Act. Although Nix-
on justifies relaxation of pollution stand-
ards in the interests of energy conserva-
tion, it is quite clear from the previous
fights necessary to gain such standards
that once approved, these relaxations
may continue or be increased long after
our energy crisis has passed.
In the meantime, America's environ-
ment will continue to be threatened.

Vie nan
By JOHN WHITMORE
ON THE afternoon of January 24,
1973, Luu Quy Ky, Secretary-
General of the Association of Viet-
namese Journalists of the Demo-
cratic Republic of Vietnam, quick-
ly called a news conference in
response to the requests of t h e
foreign correspondents in Hanoi.
The announcement of the cease-
fire agreements had been made
that morning, but the official press
conference in Paris had not yet
been held, and Ky, .in an ebullient
mood, joked about how he really
had nothing to say.
Pausing after every sentence to
allow each journalist's interpreter
to translate, he went on to talk
about what this event meant to
his people. It was an historic oc-
casion, he told us, and he proceed-
ed to take us through the g r e a t
event s of Vietnamese history.
"Now," he stated, "for the first
time in over a hundred years we
will be without foreign troops on
our soil."
In a strict sense, this has been
the case. The last American troops
have left, as have the small Kor-
ean, Thai, and Australian conting-
ents, and the prisoners have come
home. Yet the Vietnamese have
not been left to work out their own
problems.
THE UNITED STATES has con-
tinued in its major role as a sup-
porter of the Saigon regime and
many elements in our military and

"The United States has continued its major role
as a supporter of the Saigon regime and many
elements in our military and government are
advocating another massive injection of military
aid . .."
J.Wmaaaawmm

The conflict after the

government are advocating ano-
ther massive injection of military
aid above and beyond that of the
immediate ceasefire period. Gra-
ham Martin, our present ambassa-
dor in Saigon, is four-square be-
hind Thieu and is the latter's best
advocate in this country. Indeed,
Martin's stance takes us back
over a decade to the last years
of Ngo Dinh Diem: Optimism is
the official order, newsmen a r e
excoriated, and reality has been
thrown out the window.
Where, then, has a year taken

ed States has claimed and believ-
ed, the Vietnamese knew that they
had stood up to and blunted the
American "trump card" and that
it was they who had brought Wash-
ington to the table. Ever distrust-
ful, the Vietnamese were prepared
to go to -any length to continue
their opposition to the American
threat.
Then the agreements came,
agreements basically the same as
those they had sought the previous
October - the American attacks
on the North would cease, a i d

YET THE prospects for such a
pattern have come to be increas-
ingly dim as the likelihood of a po-
tential resolution of the sputhern
struggle fades. The Democratic
Republic, from the time of its great
Tet celebration of a year ago, has
aimed toward the redevelopment
of its economy. Yet the United
States has refused any considera-
tion of aid. The Provisional Re-
volutionary Government in t h e
South has taken its own territory in
hand and has been making great
strides in the development of this
territory. Yet the United States has
refused to recognize it as a legiti-
mate political force.
The Saigon regime has contin-
ued to show a lack of any ability
to handle the increasingly critical
social-economic situation of i t s
territories, while further develop-
ing its ever-narrowing police hold
over competitive forces and at-
tempting to disrupt through bomb-
ing raids the territory of its rival.
Yet, the United States Embassy, as
noted, is as determined as ever
to support this regime, to bring
in advisors, and to back Saigon's
intrusions into the territory of the
Provisional Revolutionary Govern-
ment.
HANOI, WHILE hoping that the
above would not be the case, had
in private certainly foreseen that
the United States and Nixon, hav-
ing committed so much already to
Vietnam, would not be willing

peace
merely to back off and allow the
Vietnamese to resolve the situa-
tion. This has proven to be the
case. The present administration
shows no signs that it will do what
it in effect promised a year ago -
recognize the Geneva Agreements
of 1954, leave Vietnam to the Viet-
namese, and take positive steps to
bring stability and prosperity to
this war-torn country.
Instead of keeping hands off as
we have done in Laos, where the
two parties are, of their own ac-
cord, well on their way to resolving
their problems, the United States
has continued to encourage the
minority and unrepresentative fac-
tions that control Saigon and
Phnom Penh to resist such resolu-
tion almost entirely by means of
our material and diplomatic aid.
To commemorate and discuss the
situation of Indochina as it exists
a year later, the Indochina' Peace
Campaign has set Saturday after-
noon in East Quad for the purpose
of bringing together the Ann Arbor
community. We will examine the
different parts of Indochina a n d
their current circumstances as well
as the role of the United States
therein. All are welcome.
John Whitmore is an Assistant
Professor of history at the Univer-
sity.

Vietnam?
The view of Hanoi at the begin-
ning of 1973 was a highly positive
one on the surface. The last great
foreign attack on Vietnamese sov-
ereignty, the B-52 raids of the
"twelve historic days of Decem-
ber" had become history as anlo-
ther great Vietnamese victory, ful-
ly the equivalent of those of the
past.
FAR FROM BEING bombed to
the negotiating table, as the Unit-

would come, and machinery f o r
self-determination would be estab-
lished to resolve the political ques-
tion in the South. Ultimately, a sta-
ble southern regime would begin
talks with the Democratic Repub-
lic in the North for the reunifica-
tion of the country. Meanwhile,
Hanoi could pick up where it had
left off at the beginning of the
bombing in 1965, with the effort
toward the full development of the
socialist state.

...

Reassessing energy 'needs'

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,TVMN SPEAKING of America's energy
"program for the future," President
Nixon's opening sentence and basic as-
sumption was that "energy demand in
the United States will certainly continue
to rise."
This is of course the assumption that
most Americans, government officials
and the general public alike, presumably
hold. But must we go on assuming that
continued vast growth of energy use is
good, or even necessary?
Much of the tremendous growth in en-
ergy use that is predicted by the govern-
ment, the press and the energy producers
involves increased demand for electricity.
For example, in 1972 the utilities in
California asserted that 130 new power
plants would have to be constructed in
the next 30 years to provide the state's
electrical needs.
However, a RAND corporation report in
September of that year concluded that in
fact new power plant construction could
be held to 23 during those three decades
through the use of such things as in-
creased use of natural gas for cooking,
clothes drying and better insulation of
buildings.
MOREOVER, IT WOULD seem that
growth of petroleum products use
could be curtailed, or perhaps even stop-
ped through the promotion of efficient
and effective mass transportation sys-
tems that could drastically reduce the
need for gasoline to power automobiles.
This country will certainly use energy,
perhaps even in increased amounts. But
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Bill Heenan, Jack Krost, Mary
Long, Gene Robinson, Judy Ruskin, Jim
Schuster, Ted Stein
Editorial Page: Mike Foley, MornieHeyn,
Michael McFall, Eric Schoch, Tricia
Tepper .
Arts Page: Sara Rimer
Photo Technician: Ken Fink

it would seem time to give careful
thought to what energy needs will be,
how to efficiently and safely meet those
needs and most importantly to begin
looking at what "needs" are not really
needs at all. We can no longer afford to
assume that we can allow our energy con-
sumption to increase willy-nilly. We need
a little thoughtful self-examination of
the ways we live.
Taxing
THROUGHOUT THE YEARS the major
oil companies have been able to con-
vince Congress that the oil . industry
needed tax breaks that outstrip those
granted to corporations in other fields,
including extremely accelerated deple-
tion allowances.
For example, in hearings Tuesday Sen.
Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.) noted that
Exxon, the world's largest oil company
and second in total revenues only to Gen-
eral Motors Corporation, paid taxes at an
effective rate of 6.5 per cent in 1972.
In addition, he added that Mobil Oil
paid an effective rate of 1.3 per cent,
Standard Oi lof California at 2.05 per cent
and Texaso at 1.7 per cent, while the
standard corporate rate is about 48 per
cent.
In addition, he added that Mobil Oil
paid an effective rate of 1.3 per
ON WEDNESDAY Exxon announced
that its profits for the fourth quarter
of 1973 were up a whopping 59 per cent
over the same period despite a supposed.
drop in oil imports.
In light of such reports of low taxation
and high profits while the public suffers
from the economic impact of the short-
age, the President's recommendation for
tougher taxation on foreign profits as
well as a windfall profits tax is a neces-
sary beginning of a more realistic tax
structure for the oil industry.

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Consumers save. on returnable

bo ttles

/i

By CONNIE FILIPOVITCH and
JOSEPH TUCHINSKY
THERE ARE A number of ways
you can view legislation now
pending in the Michigan Senate
and House to outlaw the non-re-
turnable beer or soft drink con-
tainer.
It can be seen as an environ-
mental effort, aimed at cleaning
up the roadside, reducing the cost
.f solid-waste management, and
saving scarce and expensive min-
┬░ral resources.
It can be seen as an energy is-
sue, since nearly one-half of one
percent of all the energy consumed
in the United States is used for
beverage containers, and it is es-
timated that half of this energy
would be saved if we used return-
able bottles instead of throw-aways,

enough to heat the homes and fuel
the cars of around 20,000 people in
Michigan alone.
But few advocates of such legis-
lation notice that it is also a con-
sumer issue. Propaganda by the
:ontainer industry has sought to
3bscure the fact that using return-
able containers is much less ex-
pensive to bottlers, and that com-
petition results in the savings be-
ing passed on to consumers. They
emphasize the "extra cost" of the
bottle deposit, but ignore both the
lower price for the beverages and
the refund when the bottles are
returned.
A PIRGIM mini-survey of six
grocery stores in the Lansing-East
Lansing area and ten in the De-
troit area, done in early January,
reveals some interesting facts.

OSAM NOVA, 0 614P OF5rA -r-GI

t

Letters to The

WE WANTED to compare the
prices of the same beverage in
both returnable and throw-away
containers to see if requiring a
5 cent of 10 cent deposit would he
likely to save money or cost money
for the consumer.
It's hard to find beer in return-
able bottles; no store surveyed in
the Lansing area stocked it. Re-
latively few Detroit area stores
carried soft drinks in returnables.
But in nine stores surveyed we
found 16-ounce Coca-Cola, Pepsi-
Cola, RC Cola, or 7-Up eight packs
in both returnable and throw-away
bottles. We based our comparisons
only on these.,
In no case were the throw-aways
cheaper. In two stores, the price
was the same for returnables and
Ioily
bers and the secretaries. The po-
lice were called, but by the time
they arrived the "people's meet-
ing" had broken up.
SUFFICE IT to say, I was scar-
ed. The potential danger inherent
in that meeting was tremendous.
But what shocks me more than
anything is the fact that this sort
of action is praised by The Daily.
While student government does
have its weaknesses, it also does
some pretty important things. Mo-
tions concerning dorm hikes, gro-
cery co-ops, etc., have no chance of
being considered if meetings are
disrupted in this manner. If dis-
sent is to be expressed, it must
be done in a peaceful and order-
ly manner. Any further attempt to
radically and forcefully dominate
meetings must be prevented.
-Suzy Prog
Director of Jewish Affairs,
SGC
Jan. 15

To The Daily:
WHILE I REALIZE that t he
Daily has long stood as a tribute
to a corrupt and biased journal-
ism, this time I think you've gone
a little too far. The editorial of
Jan. 15, praising the disrespectful
and disruptive actions of the con-
stituents at last Thursday's SGC
meeting was about more than I
can take. What happened to the
facts, people?
As one who personally attended
that meeting, I think it's about
time somebody let the students
know what really happened.
The meeting was called to order
and after the opening festivities,
the treasurer announced that she
would be resigning, the administra-
tive vice-president resigned, and
then Lee Gill, the president him-
self, gave a lovely speech a n d
stepped down from his position.
To my knowledge, this was totally
unexpected, and a ten minute re-
cess was called so that Jeff Shil-
ler, the executive vice-president,
could talk with some people arout
his new role as president.

pressed her glee at seeing all her
brothers and sisters that had come
to the meeting, and then began an
impassioned and enduring tirade
on the "racist" and fascist" coun-
cil. As the constituents intermit-
tedly broke out in cheers at the
slanderous terms being tossed out,
Jeff Shiller tried to regain order
in the meeting. He was consistent-
ly shouted down, and the council,
seeing that business would be im-
possible to carry out, hastily called
for adjournment.
WHEN THE council members be-
gan to leave, the doors were blozk-
ed by two very large students, and
the meeting got rowdy. Ted Liu
then locked the door, preventing
the members from leaving the
council chambers, while the now
mob-like crowd overturned all
sense of order and began a "peo-
ples meeting." Luckily, a back
door was opened, and a quick exit
was made by the council mem-

throw-aways; both owners said
they were trying to discourage sale
of returnables.
In the other seven stores, the re-
turnables cost from 20 cents to 46
cents less for the beverages, not
counting the 40 cent deposit on
the eight bottles, which is refund-
ed when you return them on your
next trip to the store. The average
saving on returnables at these
stores was 32.4 cents per eight
pack.
THESE RESULTS didn't sur-
prise us. Savings to consumers is
one of the arguments on the aide
of advocates of a returnable-bottle
law. A University of Illinois econ-
omist, Hugh Folk, testifying before
a U.S. Senate subcommittee head-
ed by Senator Philip Hart (D-
Mich.) over two years ago, pro-
jected that a national conversion
to returnable bottles instead of
throw-aways would save consum-
ers the whopping sum of $1.3 bil-
lion annually.
Folk argued that the other serv-
ices and products consumers would
buy with an extra $1.3 billion -
extra money to apply toward cars,
stereo sets, clothing, college tui-
tion - would create jobs that
would largely make up for the jobs
lost in the container-manufacturing
industry. (In Oregon, some of the
extra money was spent or more
beer; a year after their bottle bill
was passed, beer sales were up 5
per cent.)
It averages out to only $6.50 sav-
ed per person per year, around $26
for the average family. But, Folk
implicitly asks, which would you
rather buy with your $6.50: A
year's supply of throw-away emp-
ties, or a book, a pair of jeans, a
couple of flicks, or a left f r o n t
hubcap for your new Mercedes;
Diesel?
FOR YEARS bottlers used a sys-
tem of deposit and return for bev-
erage packaging. Grocers adjusted
to it. Consumers accepted it.
The cost of the container w a s
passed from the manufacturer to
the wholesaler to the retailer to
the consumer and back again. A
bottle might make 40 trips, i t s
cost to each consumer one-fortieth

sumer absorbs the entire cost of
its manufacture, and then passes
on to the taxpayers the cost of
its disposal in bulging sanitary
landfills, where a can takes 50
years to decompose - and a throw-
away bottle may last forever. Re-
moval of containers from land-
fills would cause a decrease of 75
per cent.
"Propaganda by the
container industry has
sought to obscure the
fact that using return-
able containers is
much less expensive
to bottlers, and that
competition results in
the savings being pass-
ed on to consumers.
BECAUSE THESE containers
were lighter to ship, competition
was possible. As consumer afflu-
ence and tolerance rose, t h r o w-
aways increased in price. T h a y
now cost approximately 30 per
cent more than returnables. But
the inconvenience of hauling them
back no longer existed - though
one was going back anyway.
Professor Folk has estimated that
a return to returnables would save
Illinois consumers $71 million an-
nually and save 55 per cent of the
energy now spent on beverage con-
tainers. There is no reason to
think it would do less for Michigan.
It sounds so easy, though.
Perhaps we'd better appoint a
commission to explore- our im-
mense technologiral capabilities
for waste disposal. Then, in 10 ort
15 years, we'll have a highly com-
plex recycling system - and no

Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), Rm 253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hull. Whinutn . D.C .2015.

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