Email letters, August 31, 2011

Oil shale hearing was political theater

Reps. Dick Lamborn and Scott Tipton’s use of tax dollars, staff time and congressional authority to hold an oversight hearing in Grand Junction to tell themselves what they wanted to believe exhibits the same approach to solving our nation’s critical problems that the Bush-Cheney administration used to determine there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Lamborn and Tipton called witnesses to assert that oil shale is the solution to our dependence on foreign oil and unemployment. The main thrust of the industry-tilted panel was that the BLM is responsible for preventing oil shale development. According to oil executives, the BLM’s current review of the 2008 programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) is creating “regulatory uncertainty” preventing leasing of federal lands to oil shale innovators and experimenters.

This is a simplistic, blame-the-government response to the complex, technological uncertainties of oil shale development. The 2005 Energy Policy Act required the BLM to develop commercial leasing on the basis of a PEIS analysis. But industry uncertainties regarding the magnitude and pace of oil shale development, water and energy requirements, numbers of employees, and specific technologies resulted in a broadly speculative, flawed PEIS without commercial leasing that clearly needs reviewing.

Oil shale executives are using their congressmen to demand maximum access to federal land with minimum regulation. This puts the BLM in a tough spot since its duty is to sustain multiple uses of federal land, to protect water and air quality, and to prevent damage to federal oil shale deposits by untested technologies, while allowing scientifically sound research projects access to federal oil shale. The BLM is moving cautiously because of past failures and giveaways including the $8 billion Congress spent for synthetic fuels development in the 1980’s.

Developing federal oil shale is a very serious, very uncertain business. Political theater in the form of a congressional hearing is not helpful. The United States deserves more from its leaders than what Lamborn and Tipton provided in the Grand Junction hearing.

Grand Junction

Comics need not be obscene

This may surprise letter writer Timothy King, but I agree with him as to his descriptions of the various comics. However, those strips fit into the definition of “comic” and they do not need obscenities to do so. 

Here is the definition of the word “comic” according to Webser’s New Collegiate Dictionary: adj. 2:  causing laughter or amusement. 

I do not believe I am wound up any tighter than the average person (a personal belief, shrinks may say otherwise).  What was yanking my chain is the supposed need of obscenities and vulgarities in a very lame attempt to be humorous. 

Obscenities, vulgarities, etc belong in the porno shop, not the family page. But then maybe I am an ol’ out-of-date senior that does not understand the need to walk down Main Street talking the vulgar/obscene talk of some of the so called educated/uneducated modern generation.

A-Pawn shouldn’t have been shut down

I am concerned over ATF’s recent punitive actions against Jim Wilcox and his small business, A-Pawn on Pitkin Streed. ATF confiscated A-Pawn’s entire inventory of firearms, and revoked Mr. Wilcox’s federal license to sell guns. A-Pawn is a pawn shop, but served a much more important function for Grand Junction and the surrounding area – it was our traditional source for affordable new and used firearms, ammunition and shooting accessories.

If you visited A-Pawn at any time you would find it virtually packed with hunters and other shooting enthusiasts. This was because Jim is a very likeable person with a deep knowledge of all firearms that he shared with each customer to ensure that he received the perfect gun for his needs. Also, if one was buying a new gun, Jim would order it and sell it to you for approximately 10 percent less than you could buy the identical gun at Cabela’s.

I am frustrated that A-Pawn is no longer in business, but my main concern is the way it was put out of business. ATF presented no evidence that Jim Wilcox committed any crime. There was no proof that he sold firearms to minors, criminals, terrorists or Mexican drug cartels, unlike ATF itself. Although ATF would not discuss Wilcox’s case, it appeared that their reason for revoking his license was that, several times each year when Wilcox sold a gun, he “filled out ATF form 4473” imperfectly.

Things that concern me about this case: Why is it that a federal agency has the power to put a man out of business? Why can this be done without a criminal trial and presentation of proof that the man committed a crime? Where is it stated in the Constitution that the government has the right to come into a peaceful town like ours and attack our means for exercising our 2nd Amendment rights and do it with such vaporous justification.

But, finally, I wonder if there isn’t some unstated reason for shutting down A-Pawn. Could it possibly be that the current administration in Washington might sense a threat if every citizen has easy access to firearms?

Grand Junction

Media ignored Uravan celebration

At historic Uravan, Colo., Aug 27, A Uranium History celebration and reunion picnic was held at the old Uravan ball park.

I noticed that there was no Grand Junction news and TV media at this event. As you know this was a public interest event that the media ignored and did not care about.

Uravan is town that made the biggest contribution to ending the war with Japan, and saved many American servicemen. Uravan was a town of dedicated families that became a victim of national and local governments. Congress voted to make the uranium industry a non-viable industry, this canceled a law that all of the U.S. nuclear power plants had to be supplied with domestic nuclear fuel.

I believe the Canadian free trade act was part of this none viability maneouver. Generations have lost their homes and a whole town because of irresponsible politicians, and I am very disturbed about the media’s “don’t care” attitude.

Where was Gary Harmon on this historic day??

Grand Junction

Paying it forward

I want to thank Ron Harrison for returning my wallet which had been stolen from me. While there aren’t words enough to thank you for your integrity, perhaps I can return the favor with this letter.

When Ron sent me the email letting me know he had found my wallet in his yard, I ignored it because I thought it was spam, as there were several links in his signature block. After I realized it was not spam, I followed some of those links and discovered that his son is coordinating a fundrasing event to provide AEDs for area schools. Obviously this is a family with a great deal of integrity.

Please visit the website From the Heart, For the Heart and find out how you can support their effort.

Thanks again Ron. I look forward to seeing the success of the From the Heart, For the Heart project.



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