Email letters, Oct. 25, 2011
Oil shale development continues to be 10 years away
The companies involved in the last oil shale boom still own 20 percent of the state’s oil shale land, still have the designs for the processes, still have Colorado River water rights and have plenty of money to make oil shale happen in the near future if it was economic to do so.
According to industry insiders at a recent oil shale symposium in Grand Junction, technological advances and increased demand is the reason for interest in western Colorado’s oil shale. They claimed federal policies were getting in the way of their progress. Recent experiments have succeeded by using huge amounts electricity to make tiny quantities of exceedingly expensive oil. Other experiments have failed to get off the ground or even break ground. These efforts have been ongoing for 100 years.
Oil and gas production has increased in the last several years, but oil shale is still stagnant. Oil production from shale has been “10–15 years away” for a very long time and I think it always will be. If oil and gas companies could produce oil, they have the resources to make it happen. The only thing standing in their way is the rock. They have failed to create jobs or generate income because they have failed to produce energy.
Proposition 103 fails to direct where the money goes
Proposition 103 seeks to amend the Colorado Revised Statues by increasing individual and business income tax by nearly 8% (from 4.63% to 5.00%) and the sales and use tax rate will be increased by over 3% (from 2.93% to 3.00%) for five years. The proposition would require additional tax revenue to be spent on public education. The fiscal note indicates revenue of nearly $3 billion.
The proposition is bad because it fails to direct the legislature on what aspect of “public education” the revenue is to be allocated. Public education is broadly defined to include everything from pre-schools to colleges and universities, along with libraries and museums, not to mention community education. In addition to the definition difficulties and the lack of direction as to allocation of resources, the proposition also fails to offer a plan as to how an increase in revenue will improve education.
Raising taxes on the middle class during tough economic times is not the answer to our state’s and our nation’s lag educationally speaking behind the rest of the world, most notably the EU nations, Japan and South Korea. Students should learn to spend more time in the libraries reading and teachers should be empowered to actually teach. Parents are the third party in the ‘educational contract’ and need to encourage their children and explore the world of knowledge in literature, science, the arts, history, geography, civics et cetera.
Unemployment in Colorado is officially hovering just under 10%, the local unemployment rate is slightly lower. However, a study by the Economics International Corporation suggests consumer spending and business investments will decrease as a direct result of the proposition 103 tax hike, leading to circa 30,500 jobs being eliminated by fiscal year 2017. Such incriminating evidence is allegedly why Governor John Hickenlooper is unwilling to publicly support the proposition.
Don’t forget, Election Day is Tuesday, 1 November. Ballots must be received in the Clerk’s Office by 7:00 PM.
Referred Measure 3B needed for quality education
It has come to my attention that some members of our community seem to be leaning against more funding for our schools. Being a seventh-grade student at Redlands Middle School, this concerns me. With less funding there will be less educational resources and fewer school days.
I can infer that some people don’t care because they may not have any children or are out of school and don’t feel like they can benefit from the funding. I do know that if we vote no for more funding it would be an economical problem for all of the unemployed citizens of our county.
If and when big corporations or others are seeking to open offices and businesses, if they are wise they will most likely look at our educational system. If they see that the community doesn’t care about our education, they will most likely look somewhere else. I know, being a child of a business owner, that the employer wants well-educated employees.
Next, extra-curricular activities will most likely be either more expensive or cut. Funding for the arts and music classes will dwindle and sports through the schools will be very expensive. I know for a fact that extra-curricular activities are more expensive this year than last and will continue to get more expensive if we do not vote for Referred Measure 3B.
I can understand that we are currently in an economic crisis and there will be more taxes if we decide to fund the schools. But, voting against more funding will hurt our community’s economic system even more in the long run.
Less funding means less school days, less arts, less materials, less extra-curricular activities, less college acceptance and graduation rates, less local and nonlocal businesses and, finally, fewer jobs. The two things I can say are likely to increase if this isn’t passed are crime and unemployment.
Vote “Yes” for 3B!