Editorial voices from elsewhere

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Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad as compiled by the Associated Press:


Boston Globe

The new regulations on power plant emissions announced by President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency mark the nation’s first truly serious assault on climate change. The proposed rules, which will be subject to a four-month comment period, call for cutting carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent within 15 years.


It’s a workable, realistic goal that will spur investment in low-emission energy technology, including wind and solar power. Phased in over a long enough period to minimize economic damage, it would nonetheless achieve a reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to taking nearly two-thirds of the nation’s passenger vehicles off the road.


The clearer air should save thousands of lives and tens of billions of dollars in health benefits. And it would finally give the United States the credibility to push other countries, including fast-growing, fast-polluting China, to enact similar measures. It is, in every sense, a major step – and a long overdue and welcome one.


Almost all credible reports suggest the world is passing the point where it can reverse, or eliminate, global warming. But that only means it’s more urgent than ever to push for historic carbon reductions.


Arizona Republic


Arizona’s international border is an economic engine with huge potential, and the stars are aligning to make it more powerful yet.


Mexico offers high-skill, low-cost manufacturing and easy access to the North American market.


Labor costs are rising in China, and U.S. manufactures are relocating to Mexico with an enthusiasm reminiscent of the early days of the North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s, according to The New York Times. Big names like Caterpillar, Stanley, Black & Decker, Chrysler and Callaway Golf are expanding there. But opportunities exist for companies of all sizes.


The whole nation benefits from trade with Mexico. About 40 percent of the content of goods imported from Mexico originates in the United States. That drops to 4 percent if the import comes from China.


The border is an asset with growing potential for economic development, and efforts to build on that will help our state prosper.


The Australian

Barack Obama reaffirmed his belief in American exceptionalism in a speech aimed at reframing his foreign policy. This was no small point coming from a president who won office partly by capitalizing on a decline in the U.S.’s global standing.


When he accepted the Democratic nomination in August 2008, Obama made a bold promise. “I will restore our moral standing,” he declared, “so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.” Now that he is well into his second term, it is difficult to offer a positive assessment against this mission statement.


The United States under Obama has been slow, recoiling and tentative in international affairs. Because of the global leadership role the president accepts, this is a cause for concern.


To be sure, Obama points most proudly to scaling back and ending military engagements in Iraq and, in the coming two years, Afghanistan.


But there is little evidence sufficient work has been done in either country to consolidate the gains. In our region, the United States pivot to Asia – somewhat forgotten with distractions in eastern Europe – has done little to stymie provocative actions by the Chinese navy.


And North Korea remains unchastened.


The president speaks of a world where “hopes and not just fears” govern. But for solutions he cannot afford to be fearful of U.S. power.


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