Printed Letters: Aug. 1, 2014

Closing coal plants will hit us in the pocketbook
Again, the federal government uses the Environmental Protection Agency as a weapon against workers and private citizens. The Obama administration is hell-bent on closing coalmines, despite what he said in his campaign speeches.

The truth of the matter is that when all the coal plants close and the energy creation by coal-burning plants is shut down, we can expect to pay more than four or five times what we pay now for electricity and all related things that we have come to take for granted.

So, for those that are hoping to see the EPA and other government agencies shut down and more private businesses heavily regulated, especially here in Colorado, you better get your windmills up and start cranking those bicycle generators so that you can charge your laptop and phone batteries. You won’t be able to afford to run your swamp cooler all day or turn the lights on at night. You seem to already reside in the dark and you had better not light a kerosene lamp. It puts carbons into the environment and those are going to be regulated, too. As for cooking dinner, well, the next step is to raise natural gas and propane prices through the roof due to regulation and shutdown of production. Wake up America.

Grand Junction

Atlasta supports clean power plan and benefits it will bring
As a 35-year employer in western Colorado, Atlasta Solar Center supports the new U.S. Clean Power Plan. These new carbon pollution reduction requirements (30 percent by 2030) encourage states to achieve substantial pollution reductions through the use of solar, natural gas, energy efficiency and wind. This is the right direction for Colorado and for our Grand Valley.

ASC, along with a majority of all Coloradans, supports reducing carbon emissions. Consider the economic evidence of the growth of renewable energy in Colorado: Solar in Colorado increased 41 percent last year. Three hundred companies employ nearly 4,000 people in Colorado in solar. Solar now has an annual Grand Valley local impact of $25 million. Two thousand solar systems have been installed in Mesa County since 2006 on homes and businesses, with five to 10 new solar systems installed in Mesa County every week. District 51 now gets much of its electricity from solar, along with the city of Grand Junction, Mesa County and dozens of private businesses. A 2-megawatt solar utility scale power plant is now under construction at Riverside Drive and 29 Road.

Indeed, in Colorado and nationwide, almost all new power generation now comes from wind, solar and/or natural gas. This is good for Colorado with abundant supplies of all three of these clean resources. A recent Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association study of solar in Colorado shows employee earnings of more than $534 million, a total economic output of $1.42 billion, state and local tax revenues of about $50 million contributed by solar and environmental benefits of $44 million.

Support of America’s Clean Power Plan will increase the economic benefits of clean energy for the Grand Valley.

Co-owners of Atlasta Solar Center
Grand Junction

Want to regulate fracking? Learn to live without energy
Of all the articles against fracking in the state, I don’t remember even one person suggesting an alternative method for getting the oil or natural gas out of the ground. It is one thing to stand around complaining about how it’s being done, but it’s another to boycott the industry’s product and stop using the energy. Is anyone willing to do that?

Of course, it is easier to simply say, don’t frack in my county or state or wherever. Perhaps we can just import the fuel and natural gas from Wyoming or maybe even Iraq. One way or another doesn’t matter, just as long as it isn’t produced in Colorado, right? And let’s not forget the wildlife that drilling might disturb unless, of course, we need to build yet another ski resort or fishing lodge, then disturbing the wildlife would be acceptable.

The fact is that no one in the energy industry wants to harm anyone and everyone is very willing to follow strict regulations. The problem is that some folks in Colorado would like to regulate the industry right out of the state. The folks soliciting signatures for the two state bills regulating fracking are not being completely honest about the bills. The gentleman who approached me didn’t even want me to read what I was signing, but I did read it and I did not sign it.

Wouldn’t it be better for people to at least make an attempt to learn the true facts before signing a petition or attending a rally against something they are not willing to live without? Citizens have the right to vote to ban fracking altogether, but no fracking means no oil. That vote should be followed up with individual action. People should either take a stand and stop being consumers of energy products altogether or put their bandwagons back in storage, go fill their gas tanks (because they can) and go to work where hopefully they can be more productive.

Grand Junction


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WELL said Gail Bradford! Wind, Solar, Coal, Fracking, all supply our nations need for energy, we can’t grow without them. Mr.Bright

obviously Mr. Kolbenshlag ISN’T in the Fuel or energy business. Oil and Gas are regulated as high or higher in Colorado than ANY other state in the Union. If the people in Washington DC in the EPA were so busy kiss Obama butt and had actually sunk a piece of pipe in the ground they would know that. THEY the EPA and the people watching the Energy industry’s are the ones predicting an escalation of costs in the immediate future. Surface water impacts are still being studied, anyone making statement about them hasn’t looked at the facts and hasn’t studied the problems enough to know what the outcome will be. Not wishing to live in “high density populated areas” and being in a rural environment most of my life I know that most people living in rural situations are 50 times more the Stuarts of environment than most any city folk are. Fracking and it’s standards change monthly with heavier and heavier regulation. Even the “0” in Washington has given the positive spin on how much more independent “Fracking” has added to our Energy independence, when the comment suits him and his agenda. The good sense is to not listen to him but to people that deal with actual jobs of working with energy collection every day. You will not find a more competent group with more attention to the environment than that.

While Gail Bradford’s timely letter – “Want to regulate fracking?  Learn to live without energy!” – touches on valid themes in the on-going statewide debate over indiscriminate hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), it also distorts purported “facts”.

Thus, first, even if “no one in the energy industry wants to harm anyone”, its record is replete with unintended “harm” – e.g., leaks, spills, fires, explosions, and earthquakes.

As a result, informed segments of the public remain rightly skeptical of the oil and gas industry’s perpetually pollyannic propaganda touting fracking’s purported “safety” – particularly when conducted in the vicinity of especially vulnerable locales.

Second, Bradford properly points to the implicit tradeoff between the market price and profitability of fossil fuels versus the cost-effectiveness of importing and/or conserving them to protect other valuable Colorado resources.

However, while Bradford sarcastically deprecates wildlife, ski resorts, and fishing lodges, most Sentinel readers recognize that Colorado’s outdoor environment is itself a unique and invaluable economic asset that also creates jobs which should not be sacrificed on the altar of “fracking”.

Third, Bradford’s contention that “everyone [in the energy industry] is very willing to follow strict regulations” is manifestly false.  At every level of government, the energy industry strenuously resists “strict regulation” of its activities and regards fines for non-compliance – when detected—as just another “cost of doing business”.

Moreover, Bradford’s claim is further belied by the fact that – under the Energy Policy Act of 2005—“fracking” remains inexplicably exempted from the regulatory regime otherwise applicable to “underground injection wells” under the Safe Drinking Water Act and from the definition of “pollutant” under the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts.

Meanwhile, entirely benign “fracking fluids” are routinely used in offshore drilling (where toxic “fracking fluids” are prohibited).

Therefore, some Colorado communities understandably seek to exercise more local control over their own public health and safety.

Excellent comments Gail. Regardless of what other ones follow, the bottom line that no one can argue is that energy has to come from somewhere. It just doesn’t appear out of the air, or out of the gas hose, or the click of the light switch. In the end, we have a choice: to keep development in our country and our states so we can have control over or energy needs, or continue to be dependent on volatile nations overseas like a baby calf stuck nursing 24 hours a day. People need to work together on this issue because I can guarantee that if fracking is thrown out of the state, so goes a lot of money and eventually the trickle down effect of that will kick in and somewhere, someone will go, “Why don’t we have anymore funds? Why are our coffers so empty?”. There’s you sign.

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