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Klan Burns Cross In Connecticut

SCOTLAND, Conn.--Flames from a 20-ft, tall burning cross licked the night sky above this small farming town Saturday, as the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held their first open rally in New England since the turn of the century amid angry counterprotests and heavy police security.

As about 45 hooded Klansmen and more than a hundred sympathizers cheered and hooted, Imperial Wizard Bill Wilkinson of Louisiana urged "rebels and yankees to get together" in preparation for "the coming race war."

Outside the tightly guarded rolling field where the whites-only rally took place, Connecticut state police arrested nine people and reported eight injured after a series of brief but violent skirmishes between Klan supporters and opponents.

Several hundred anti-Klan protesters shouting "Ku Klux Klan, Scum of the Land" and "Power to the Workers, Death to the Klan" marched to within a quarter- 9be the equivalent of a $14 million program in this country. The Canadian program gives direct subsidies to thousands of low and middle income homeowners to help them slash their fuel bills. The American program of tax incentives benefits only the rich. To take a tax credit, you have to spend money first. Of the less then 10 per cent of Americans who claimed tax credits for conservations purposes, more than 75 per cent were above the median national income, according to government statistics. President Carter's proposal in his economic recovery program for $975 million to weatherize lower and middle income homes is the right step, but it is a drop in the bucket. While the billions spent on synfuels and fusion are not benefitting anyone, a program of home insulation could provide direct and immediate relief for the poor. Such a program would also create thousands of jobs in the faltering home building and construction industries.

The government should split its strategy, giving insulation subsidies to the poor and increasing tax incentives for those above median income. In addition, the Congress should act swiftly to adopt Senator Malcolm Wallop's (R-Wyo.) bill that would increase industrial tax credits for the installation of energy-efficient equipment from 10 to 30 per cent. While they're at it, Congress should also pass the Building Energy Efficiency Performance Standards Act, shelved last year because of enforcement difficulties. The bill would coordinate six federal agencies in the regulation of the building and housing industries.

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CONSERVATION MAY make sense, but many people still consider it un-American--including the Republican Party. Americans are used to spending and consuming, not tightening their belts, and Congress has balked at any attempts to place a tax on gasoline in order to reduce consumption. Last spring Yergin proposed a gasoline tax that, no matter how politically impractical, is simpler and more effective than John Anderson's. Yergin proposed a tax that would reach $1 a gallon in five years, with direct rebates to purchasers. According to Yergin's statistics, that would reduce national gasoline consumption by 25 per cent.

Aside from conservation, the government should continue to explore alternative sources that don't pollute and won't provoke community opposition. Some experts believe that hydroelectric power could, with significant technological advances, undergo a renaissance in the Northeast. Solar energy is also in need of research funds. Photovoltaics, the direct conversion of the sun's rays into electricity, is a promising but so far commercially unfeasible technology. Current solar technologies are also valuable, but they require very specific types of construction and building materials. With government tax incentives, however, a solar house does not have to cost any more than a non-solar one, and can save anywhere from 50 to 90 per cent on an average-sized home's energy consumption.

Solar energy, however, is still thought of as the energy source of visionaries and flakes. While synfuels and fusion are celebrated, solar is scoffed at and insulation programs are considered as afterthoughts. This winter there are millions of Americans who could benefit from national insulation and solar development programs. Instead the only ones who will benefit from the national energy policy are the corporations and scientists in the fields of synfuel and fusion

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