E-mail letters, November 11, 2010

Allard is misinformed
about money from Roan

In a Nov. 5 article, “Allard: Roan plan could have helped,” former U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard seems to have been seriously misinformed about the economics of drilling the Roan Plateau. Drilling the Roan will destroy one of Colorado’s last best places, but it won’t do anything to solve Colorado’s current budget problems.
First, the one-time bonus payments referred to wouldn’t have done much to solve Colorado’s current budget woes. Colorado’s $56 million share of those payments represents only a small percentage of the state’s billion dollar-plus budget deficits expected for 2010-11 and 2011-12.  Moreover, the state received and spent that one-time bonus payment in 2008 — fully two years ago.
Nor would royalties paid from gas production put a dent in the state’s deficit. Bill Barrett Corp., the energy company that holds the leases atop the Roan, has indicated that (even absent pending litigation challenging those leases) it plans to ramp up production over time. As a result, Barrett would not generate substantial royalties from the Roan for several more years.
In reality, the Roan represents only a tiny fraction of the potential income from federal leases in Colorado. The top of the Roan amounts to less than one percent of the 5 million acres of federal lands leased for drilling in Colorado — 70 percent of which is not in production. There are literally millions of acres of public lands available for drilling without disturbing an area as important as the Roan. 
The Colorado Natural Heritage Program has ranked the Roan Plateau as one of the four most biologically rich areas in the state — and the other three are already part of the National Park system. We don’t need to turn one of Colorado’s prize gems of public land into an industrial zone for energy supplies, or to generate revenue.
Michael Freeman
Staff Attorney
Earthjustice
Denver


The question remains:
Where is bin Laden?

I have the same question for President Obama that I had for former President
Bush. Where is Osama bin Laden?
John A. Ijams
Grand Junction


We need rational discussions
on both politics and religion

Don’t read this. It’s about politics and religion, two topics on the conversation black list. But maybe that’s exactly why we have to talk about them. In fact, if we can talk with civility about politics and religion, we can talk amiably about anything.
About politics: The political season has wrapped up. To see it end was as much a relief as hearing the final whistle of a Raiders-Broncos game.

Why was it that even the major news networks had to check out a facts.com type website to check out ads? We became experts on how the other guy blew it, was inexperienced and against everything worth living for. There was enough spin going on to make the Earth do a U-turn.
The dumbing down of politics is only matched by the dumbing down of religion. By religion I mean meaningful and life-changing faith in a relational God. Here, we’ve done the opposite. We are so accepting that we have forgotten to take a stand on anything. We have downplayed the idea of absolutes and affirmed mindless practices. In accepting everything we have come to believe nothing.

We risk becoming a society of non-thinkers! Discussions on politics and religion demand knowing both what and why we believe. We have mastered the opposite. We know what and why we don’t believe. We have left port without a sail or compass and there is a hole in the hull. We are sinking, and all we can do is blame others while taking on more passengers.
What’s the answer? To seek integrity, honesty, courage and truth, lived out in both our private and public lives. There is nothing like a good discussion around important ideas. Practicing these virtues can guarantee that conversations about religion and politics will be the reward we know them to be.
Dr. David DeMott
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church
Grand Junction


National Monument is for
preservation, not profit

As one reads The Daily Sentinel article of Nov. 6: “Bicyclists seek monument for pro race venue in 2012,” the motive for hosting the event is obvious. It’s profit, and reasons given for the event predominate.

Well-intentioned as they are, most calls for economic development have one thing in common —“If the truth were known, enough is not enough.”

In the words of one of the events’ carpet-bagging boosters:“It would be big.” He mentions:  “The return on investment for a race of this caliber is $6 for each $1 invested.” He failed to mention the monument’s cut for damages sustained and costs incurred.
 
In a polite attempt to represent her position, Joan Anzelmo, superintendent of Colorado National Monument, was quoted as stating: “The (monument) staff is first charged with protecting the monument and must consider adverse affects to the area that a race might cause … Typically a pro race like that is really hard to pull off in a national park.”

In plainer language, she might have said national parks are not set aside to enrich or extol. They are established to remain what they are, thereby to educate, calm and restore the fragile beings we all are.

Such an event does none of these things. In fact, the area’s anticipated use is mainly as “a name brand marquee,” which is also a poor tactic for morphing the monument to national park status. 
Whether park or monument, it’s the “national” part that informs of its lineage. Thus, we in western Colorado have as much or as little to say about “our monument” and its uses, as does any other citizen or entity in the country.
To ensure that the monument remain an uncompromised treasure, we must guard against the urge to pander its sale to the highest bidder for uses that belittle its importance, now, and in the future. Irreplaceable landscapes — even gradually sacrificed — are lost, and no conceivable return on investment is an acceptable substitute. 
K. Hancock
Grand Junction


Meis’ actions don’t represent
a ‘tea party moment’

As a member of the board of gjresult.com/Tea Party, I both dispute and take issue with the claim made by Craig Meis. His use of the phrase “tea party moment” is an affront to this tea party. His misuse of the judicial system, his waste of taxpayer dollars, his jab at the tea party movement, is
a symptom of his boorish behavior.

He did not have a “tea party” moment at all, and it is an insult to the tea party and every member of any tea party anywhere. Tea parties have been working tirelessly to legally change the things we do not agree with or see as egregious. If Commissioner Meis felt the law was wrong in this matter, he should have done the right thing by paying the ticket and saving the taxpayers’ money. He then could have looked into what it would take to change the law he disagreed with.
I would challenge Meis to give us an example of something that the tea party has done that is in defiance of the law.

Commissioners Meis and Janet Rowland would do well to educate themselves and discover what the tea parties are really about. Saving tax dollars and spending wisely would be something that fits the tea party agenda. If people read the email he sent to Robert Randall (with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources), they would find that is something Meis does not understand. One would wonder, was Meis’ claim of a “tea party moment” of ignorance or malice? He certainly doesn’t reflect the values and principles manifested by the tea party movement.

Why were carbon copies sent to Josh Penry, Janet Rowland, District Attorney Pete Hautzinger, Sheriff Stan Hilkey,  and state Reps. Steve King, and Laura Bradford?

Whether it was malice or ignorance, the tea party and the taxpayers are entitled to a full and public apology from Meis.

Meis really should take some anger management classes. Then remember the words of Ben Franklin, “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain — most fools do.” I believe he has this etched in stone and on his desk and uses these very words to attack any complaints from his
constituents.
Carolyn Patton
Grand Junction



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