April 19, 2019

This letter is in response to Jane Karker’s April 21 [op-ed column] and May 2 press conference story. Karker may understand the printing side of the paper business, but she has no understanding of the production side. Her 30 percent TCF sales would keep the average mid-sized paper machine worker employed for at most two hours per year. At a larger machine, such as one of those in Skowhegan, they would be employed for approximately 45 minutes.

Even if all of her co-sales representatives were selling similar amounts, they would keep the Skowhegan mill running for about an hour. That’s one hour out of 8,760 in a year. Her sales would keep all Maine mill workers employed for less than three minutes per year (out of 525,600 minutes per year). That works out to an average mill employee salary of 92 cents per year. Feed your family on that! I believe my point has been made: her “huge” market is obviously not there.

All that being said, ECF uses fewer trees, less power, produces less pollution, and is more recyclable than TCF pulps. All this while eliminating dioxin. There is no question that the environmentally right thing is to go with ECF, not mandate TCF technology. David W. Norman Wilton

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