E-mail letters, November 30, 2010

Water is no longer
a killer for oil shale

I want to commend Gary Harmon on his excellent article about the GAO Report on oil shale and water.

The GAO report wisely recommends that the federal government take steps on oil shale right now, including the establishment of baseline conditions for
water quality, modeling regional groundwater movement and studying the interaction between groundwater and surface water.

Water use and protection are top priorities for companies now working in oil shale. Environmentalists are right to say that water is an issue. But, it is
not an insurmountable problem. Water use estimates are dropping every year and water protections are constantly improving. Indeed, the GAO report says
there is sufficient water to start oil shale development.

Yet, we won’t fully understand the water issue until we begin small-scale commercial development, including work on federal lands where the richest
oil shale deposits are located.

Perhaps the most the important point is that large-scale commercial development of oil shale will not occur any time soon. The industry will
start small and grow slowly in the coming decades. As this small industry advances, we’ll see, first-hand, the impacts to water. We should also
discover new technologies that will further minimize impacts to water.

Some people want to stop all oil shale research right now. But, whether you like it or not, America will increasingly depend on oil for many decades to
come, even with the development of new energy and conservation technologies. With this reality in mind, the choice is very clear. Shall we continue
researching and innovating to see if we can develop our massive domestic oil shale resources? Or, shall we continue down the current road of increasing
dependence on foreign oil?
Curtis Moore
Environmentally Conscious
Consumers for Oil Shale
Grand Junction

Glade Park folks remain
skeptical of Postal Service

The community of Glade Park is skeptical about hearing that the trailer intended for our Post Office is going to be “temporarily” sent to Como, Colo., until spring. However, it is encouraging to hear Al DeSarro, spokesman for the Postal Service, quoted in The Daily Sentinel in the following manner:

“The wait for the trailer will be worthwhile,” DeSarro said. The trailer is being equipped for lights and electricity, services not originally contemplated for the Glade Park trailer, DeSarro said. “We’re spending some bucks on this,” he said.”

That sounds great. Glade Park was previously told electricity was all up to us, and since there was no way to fund it, it was not in the plans. Glade Park is unincorporated, and has no source of funds for that.

We were concerned about the postal contractors who bring the mail up, sort it, and
provide some limited window service. They have gone beyond the call of duty, and we felt bad about not being able to provide heat and rest-room facilities for them while they are there.

It is our hope that those “bucks” will keep coming and will include an electrical hook-up, and paying the monthly electrical bill. As DeSarro said, all of that was “not originally contemplated.”

Otherwise, it would be like promising an Eskimo an igloo out in the tundra that is wired for heat and electricity, but he cannot have it until spring. He has no way to utilize the wiring, and knows that by spring the whole thing will probably melt down anyway.

Please excuse our skepticism, but the history of our negotiations with the Postal Service is even more complicated than the newspaper story described. We hope they finally mean what they say.
Debra Moorland
Glade Park

Biblical literalist set
to assume energy chair

As Republicans prepare to take over the lower house of Congress, anyone concerned about the possible catastrophic effects of global warming and climate change should cease to worry.

The Republican congressman most likely to become the next chairman of the powerful
Committee on Energy and Environment is convinced nothing bad will happen because God told Noah in Genesis 8:21-22 that “As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease”.

In testimony before a key subcommittee in March, 2009, Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, an admitted biblical literalist, cited not only the book of Genesis, but also Matthew 24:31, “And He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four
winds from one end of the heavens to the other.”

Shimkus then declared, “The Earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth. I do believe that God’s word is infallible, unchanging, perfect.”

I don’t know about you, but I take comfort that someone with such awesome scientific credentials may soon take control of a powerful and influential committee concerned with our nation’s energy and environmental policy. I have no doubt he will do corporate America

E. Michael Ervin
Grand Junction


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