Electric car owners help pay for road repairs


I read the letter entitled “Make electric vehicle drivers pay their fair share” with some disappointment.

The author failed to disclose that Michigan already adds $135 per year to the registration for electric vehicles. This is equal to the gas tax paid by someone with a modern car (40 mpg) driving 14,000 miles per year at the current rate of 38.4 cents per gallon.

As to the government discouraging behavior through taxes, there are plenty of examples of this in our cigarette and liquor tax system. Things that are harmful to you, the environment or others should be taxed at higher rates to compensate those harmed. Fossil fuel emissions have been proven to harm people as wells as our environment.

The author also suggests that he is subsidizing the electric cars on the road. Nothing could be further from the truth. In 2017, the world subsidized fossil fuels at a price of $5.2 trillion, which includes a figure for the U.S. of $649 billion. That is $1,996 per person in the U.S. that year. Please ask the author where that bill can be sent.

The time for encouraging electric cars is now. Michigan has already taken the lead by producing the Bolt in Orion Township, Mich. If we continue to use fossil fuel based cars today, the costs are going to be paid by our children, who will already be saddled with enough of our debt as it is.

Algis Baliunas

St. Joseph

Thanks for making triathlon a success


On behalf of all of the participants, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped make last Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Steelhead Triathlon such a success, especially race director Mike Ryan.

I’ve directly witnessed the impact this event has on our community at large, on its many volunteers and on the participants themselves. The race brings significant financial impact to our many hotels and other hospitality industries, and it generates funds for the many groups that provide volunteers. Most important, it provides a great public impression of Southwest Michigan to the thousands of athletes and support staff who come to take part.

Volunteering for the race inspired me to become a participant. Now as a participant, it is the volunteers I find so inspiring. Thank you to the setup teams, to the lifeguards who have to be at the beach way before dawn, to the traffic control on the course, to the many people at the aid stations and to the cleanup crew. Thank you for your hard work, and thank you for enthusiasm and support. (And an extra special thanks to the nice lady with the drum at the mile 3 and 8).

Rob Regovich

St. Joseph