Email letters, Dec. 2, 2011

Dodd and Frank finally make good decision for the country

A few months ago we heard the welcome news that Sen. Chris Dodd would not run again for the U.S. Senate. Even more welcome news is Barney Frank’s recent decision not to seek reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The economic problems facing our nation today can be blamed on the team of Dodd-Frank who, before the housing bubble broke, insisted on policies that allowed people to buy houses they could not afford. Now we taxpayers are footing the bill to prop up Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac.

Hopefully, the states that sent these two irresponsible individuals to Congress have gained knowledge from this terrible mistake, and will select representatives who support legislation to correct earlier bad decisions.
DICK PROSENCE  
Meeker

Long-term fracking plan is needed

From your Mesa County WCC President on Colorado Fracking Rules: Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rules are beneficial, but federal exemptions must be lifted for genuine public health protection. “Exploration” involves hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and cannot be excluded from regulation. All BLM, EPA, and State rules/laws should reflect and ensure continuity.

Strict enforceable rules are needed for fracking planned near people, towns or any water supplies. Plans continue for drilling in and near the West Slope retirement communities, golf courses, recreational-areas on the Grand Mesa watersheds, and near Grand Junction’s water supply in violation of the Grand Junction Water Ordinance. The Grand Junction City Council will “change the ordinance.”

Disclosure of some fracking chemicals on fracfocus.org is a huge step forward if entries are honest and complete. Health safeguards should be developed based on sound research by state and federal public health authorities to assess health risks for all disclosed and undisclosed fracking compounds. The “new” draft rule still allows for “Trade Secrets.” Trade Secrets cannot exist when pitted against the health and well being of our families and communities.

Like the EPA, COGCC should consider the entire fracking-lifecycle from planning, to transportation routes, to air emissions, to “produced” frack-water, to worker and community safety and total remediation costs through bonds by the drillers and not by the taxpayers. If this is not done, then the taxpayers are essentially paying the companies to take the people’s resources.

Water, sun and soil are the sources of life given to us. We have a dearth of water. Financially unstable people are selling their water and surface rights to live. This is unfortunate and only a short-term solution. A long-term sustainable extraction plan is needed for the health and safety and continued existence of the lifestyle we want for our Colorado.

BENITA PHILLIPS
Palisade

Now is the time to wean ourselves off coal-burning power plant
s

Powering our homes should not poison our families or pollute our water; yet Colorado’s Attorney General John Suthers thinks that is just all right. He went along with 24 other attorneys general across the nation by signing a letter opposing next month’s passage of stronger mercury safeguards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which are designed to keep women and children safe.

One teaspoon of mercury, deposited annually, will contaminate a 20-acre lake. The coal burning power plants across the nation spew out 48 tons of mercury every year. Mercury from coal burning plants, which are the largest producers of mercury, gets into Colorado rivers, lakes and streams ending up in the fish we eat.

At least one in 12 and as many as one in six, American women have enough mercury in their bodies to put a baby at risk. Over 300,000 babies are born each year at risk of mercury poisoning, which relate to birth defects, neurological disorders, learning disabilities, developmental delays and cerebral palsy.
Why worry, you ask? Over 12,200 trips to the hospital each year could be prevented if mercury were safeguarded. Nearly 17,000 lives every year could be saved.  What is the value to the parents to protect their child from any of the diseases and possible deaths from mercury exposures? Ask them.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Suthers is taking care of his constituents, those who own the coal companies and who, I am sure, contribute heavily to Suthers’ campaign.

When we hear, “But look at all of the jobs the mines provide,” think carefully about it.  Is it really worth the risk?

We need to wean ourselves off of coal burning power plants for good. We need to step up the processes for solar, wind, and hydroelectric-connection to the grid now. Not twenty or thirty years from now … it’ll be too late folks.
 
JUDY DAVIES
Austin

Water is more important than oil shale development

In The Daily Sentinel’s Nov. 21 editorial, it stated that “…Washington pols should stop trying to convince the public that commercial oil shale production is going to occur any time soon.”

I just had to write in and share that a few weeks ago our Congressman Scott Tipton, met with constituents from the agricultural industry. As one of those participants, I only wish Rep. Doug Lamborn from Colorado Springs had also been present to hear our conversation about oil shale and water. Had he been there, perhaps Mr. Lamborn might have reconsidered his PIONEERS Act, which seeks to kick start, via discounted royalty rates and speculative leasing of public lands, an industry that has yet to develop a commercially viable technology.

Mr. Lamborn doesn’t seem to worry about an industry whose own estimates of its water demands (200,000 acre feet annually) total 8.5 times the amount of water (24,000 acre feet) used for all municipal and industrial purposes in Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Garfield counties in 2008. That figure, from Colorado’s State Water Supply Initiative, doesn’t include the water used by agriculture in those four counties, whose streams are targeted for oil shale development. Nor does it include the reality that water demands for these counties are predicted to nearly triple by 2050.

I can only hope that Congressman Tipton will relay this information to his counterpart on the Front Range. He could also point out that an oil shale industry that exercises its existing senior rights over here may threaten junior rights that divert West Slope water to homes in his own district. Tipton should also ask Lamborn and House Speaker John Boehner to consider the loss of real jobs in agriculture and outdoor recreation as they tout oil shale jobs that have, for more than a century, proven elusive.

JOE LIVINGSTON
Meeker

Military flights are welcome

I really do try to bite my tongue when Daily Sentinel articles and commentaries are way off base, but I cannot stand by for this one.  Andrew Gulliford and the always wrong Bill Grant either have never served in the military, or are just plain unpatriotic. 

If the military wants to fly 50 feet over my house, or park a jet in my back yard — Yes. Our military is the only thing keeping us from Sharia Law (I guess that is what Grant and Gulliford would prefer). It certainly is not our politicians and environmental fools that are protecting us. Just look at what Obama has done to aid all the radicals in the Middle East.  It is almost a given that all the countries he has helped to liberate will fall in to the hands of the radical factions waiting for this opportunity He has given them.
I would do away with the EPA in a heartbeat.  They have cost the taxpayer more money than any other agency other than the IRS.  People do not realize that every time a do-good environmental group sues the U.S. government, we the tax payers foot the bill.  An example might be that we are now going to pay for another study on the pipeline that has already been studied and approved from Canada to Texas.
I believe that every time a frivolous lawsuit is lost by one of these do -good organizations, they should pay all the costs and not the taxpayer. Mostly I just wish they would go away. Saving all this government land for our grandchildren is a bad deal, as they will not be allowed access to all this wonderful off limits land.  Anyone who has not flown over the western United States has no idea how much wild lands there are here.  To top that off, only about 10 percent of the population hunt or fish —and we are saving all this land for them?  What about the other 90 percent? And what about the handicapped folks who need a road to go into a wild area to enjoy all that preserved real estate?

Goodbye EPA and environmentalists, and welcome military jets. Where on earth did you find this always wrong Grant fellow?
DAVID SHRUM
Grand Junction

Lack of RSVPs shows culture in decay

We are quickly becoming a classless society rife with cultural rot.  I have friends who had a wedding for their daughter a couple of years ago. They sent out invitations to friends and family with an RSVP, and to their shock many people did not respond either yes or no. Invitations go to people the event planners actually care enough about to invite. Those invited have an obligation to respond as quickly as possible whether they are coming or not; it’s just common courtesy and oh so lacking nowadays. 

RSVP is French which basically means “reply please,” it does not mean reply only if you are coming. The people putting on the event, in this example a wedding have serious and expensive planning to accomplish and a non-response to any RSVP invitation is just that, a non-response; it’s impolite.

The wedding planners actually had to call many people they sent invitations to see if they were coming or not. Recently we did an RSVP for a party we held and we got the same basic results, many non-responses (I actually plan for this and over invite). I called a couple folks and sure enough they thought it meant to contact us only if they were able to attend. 

I have spoken with others about this and they think it is ignorant, classless, arrogant, snobbish or stupid behavior and it angers them. I personally would like to think the offenders are just ignorant but I guess nothing should surprise me anymore about the lack of class or manners in our society except to have a long memory. 

JIM SHULTS
Grand Junction

Investing in oil shale production makes sense

I would thank Rep. Doug Lamborn for his work to speed up oil shale production in Western Colorado. The overwhelming majority of our transportation fuels — 94 percent — come from petroleum. Oil shale can be utilized as a high-quality synthetic fuel refined into jet fuel, diesel and gasoline.

When you look at the fact that most of the food that is on our table travels more than 1,500 miles before it reaches our plate, the need for quality, homegrown energy becomes paramount. It is unfathomable that the administration wants to delay oil shale development and wrap it up in yet more red tape.

As Lamborn said in a press release, the Obama administration is trying to keep “jobs and American energy security under lock and key.” America uses more oil than any other country in the world and renewable energy alone will not quell our insatiable need. The United States has 6 percent of the world’s population yet consumes a quarter of the world’s oil. More than 75 percent of our oil imports come from foreign regimes and we send three-quarters of a trillion dollars oversees per year buying oil.

Sound investments in oil shale, means the money spent oversees for energy could be utilized at home producing oil, creating thousands of well-paying jobs, generating huge revenue distribution while significantly strengthening our national energy security.

SAM TOLLEY
Rangely

 



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