E-mail letters, March 1, 2011

Our economy is held hostage by EPA

Some thoughts on Adele Israel’s Feb. 26 “Sustainability” column:

Using tax dollars to fund “listening sessions,” “support cross-agency initiatives for America’s Great Outdoors” and publish 173-page reports featuring “stunning photographs showcasing our vast array of outdoor places and waterways,” while our economy continues to be held hostage by the EPA and other government regulatory agencies, is outrageous.

Ms. Israel tells us that “this initiative is about the government empowering and partnering with people and communities to protect and restore the places they cherish”, which illustrates how stunningly misguided are those who believe this statement. Indeed, it is exactly the other way around: the people empower the government.

But thanks to Ms. Israel, I can think of at least one more program to eliminate in the process of balancing our budget. Perhaps her column should be titled “UNsustainability.”

PAULA METCALFE
Delta

Oil shale development needs more than platitudes

Last week, Department of Interior Sec. Ken Salazar conducted a teleconference regarding his “support” of oil shale research and development. Contrary to his statements, his actions send a very different message. Sec. Salazar has done very little in the way of fostering progress in oil shale development.

To the contrary the secretary has taken every step he can to undo the progress that was made by the previous administration to expedite the research, development and recovery of one of America’s largest domestic energy reserves.

Western Colorado and Eastern Utah are the epicenter for the largest deposits of oil shale reserves and the potential benefits to be derived from developing this resource are staggering. Not only would there be significant tax revenues garnered (including federal royalties, state severance taxes, sales taxes, etc), thousands of badly needed domestic jobs would be created. The use of American oil shale would increase our domestic energy security instead of sending billions of dollars overseas.

Dragging our feet in producing the single most concentrated hydrocarbon resource in America is the worst thing to do in a struggling economy with high unemployment rates. The administration needs to support the work that was completed during the previous administration and encourage the smart, responsible development of oil shale instead of just issuing platitudes.

KEN HENRY
Mayor
City of Fruita
Fruita

Only national debt carries over

Politicians and economists must know there is no deficit carry-over to the next year, that the Federal Reserve makes up the difference, so why do they keep playing the same old-poor-boy tune?

As for proof, according to my 2011 World Almanac, which shows the United States yearly budgets from 2004 to 2009, the national debt is the only carry-over debt. Makes sense too because the goverment has to pay outstanding bills when they are due.

RICHARD L STOVER
Grand Junction

Chamber should focus on what’s good for the city

Someone needs to sit down with the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce and explain to them that what is good for the people of Grand Junction is good for local business. 

I am getting so tired of their narrow view on local issues (the ambulance contract the latest) that if I find a business that I am frequenting is a member of the Chamber I am taking my business somewhere else. I understand that may require going out of town sometimes.
CARL ZIMMERMAN
Grand Junction

Labor costs must be cut to balance budgets

We are currently witnessing news from several cash-strapped states whose newly elected officials are attempting to balance their budgets.

In most businesses and, particularly, in the public domain, labor costs are a major element of the budget. Therefore, labor costs must be addressed in attempt to materially affect the bottom line. Consequently, elected officials of the states in the news are proposing to include a reduction in state labor costs and obligations as part of their plan to bring their states’ finances under control.

What we see and hear on the news are noisy groups of labor bosses and public sector union members trying to obstruct the business of government, while vilifying the elected officials, taxpayers (whence their paycheck), and the voters.

Our own new governor has declared his intention to bring fiscal sanity to our state. We will know he’s serious when he addresses the labor issue by initiating layoffs and re-evaluating pay, pensions and benefits of our public service workers.

We, the voters and taxpayers are waiting and hoping for meaningful action.

PERRY W. BILYEU
Palisade


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