Email letters, Feb. 10, 212

Governing via religion is antiquated

In his letter to the editor, Richard Puter asserts that majority of the founding fathers were Christians and that is justification for this statement that “to water down the Gospel only emboldens atheists who hate religion in any form.” I am neither advocating nor defaming atheism. However, the world we live in is not the same as it was in the 18th century. It is true that of the original 50-plus delegates, all but a handful were self-described Christians. But so what? Our thinking and certainly our manner of governing have evolved since the infancy of this nation. Whether you are for or against religion is somewhat irrelevant because the larger picture is that governing via religion or political persuasion based on religion is antiquated and does not reflect our values as a society.

MEGHAN LEHR
Grand Junction

President is limiting oil shale development

Someone please explain this to me: how can the president in his State of the Union address say that we are going to pursue an “all of the above” strategy for energy development and then a week later come out with a plan for oil shale that limits potential development so much that no company in their right mind will find the plan enticing from an investment stand point?

DAVID WILLIAMS
Grand Junction

So-called ‘green’ energy isn’t the way to rebuild

On Feb. 8, Energy Secretary Steven Chu predicted that costs for solar and wind power will continue to drop over the next decade, making them cheaper than coal. Chu went on to say that better transmission and distribution grids would be required. So, again we hear from our current administration that the energy agenda for the United States should be the so-called “green” affordable power that we should all be willing to pay and pay again for. After all, Europe is a shining example of this technology. Yes, the Europe that is broke and in need of massive bailouts.

In President Obama’s Earth Day speech on April 22, 2009, Denmark was referenced as a model for wind power and that the United States should lead the way not follow. According to the Danish Energy Agency from 1999 to 2007, electricity produced from wind turbines grew 136 percent accounting for 13.4 percent of all their electricity. And yet, over the same period their coal use for electrical power remained the same. What did Denmark accomplish with the wind power focus? By 2008 their electrical rate was $.38 per kilowatt-hour, nearly 4 times the U.S rate in 2008 of $.10 per kilowatt-hour, making it the highest rate surveyed among 65 other countries (EIA survey).

But they are saving the planet, right? Well between 1990 and 2006, Denmark’s overall greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2.1 percent. The idea that wind and solar power is the path to the future may make a lot of us feel good, but the facts don’t support this, nor can we can’t afford it. To believe that solar and wind power will be cheaper than coal in the next decade completely ignores the facts today, the practices in other countries, and the results they have obtained over the past decade.

Building a power grid that could increase electrical cost by 400 percent is certainly not the way to job creation, and the rebuilding of this country for future generations.

RANDY LITWILLER
Crawford


Eliminate unneeded subsidies
 
First, Dennis Webb’s “Low gas prices keep Battlement drilling on hold” chronicles how the “Invisible Hand” of the free market – not any state or federal oil and gas regulations (the favorite bugaboo of industry propagandists) – is at least temporarily protecting the residents of Battlement Mesa from the potentially adverse health effects of fracking, etc.
 
Second, Gary Harmon’s “No fast cash in oil shale, nonpartisan agency says” exposes the utter vacuity of first-term Congressman Scott Tipton’s purported commitment to serving the needs of his constituency – and Republicans’ disinterest in fact-based public policy.
 
While Tipton’s much-publicized support for both accelerated oil shale development and renewed funding for water storage projects on the Western Slope can be politely forgiven as misguided boosterism, House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal to fund transportation projects now with non-existent royalties from oil shale leases typifies the irresponsibility that permeates the Republicans’ (and Tipton’s) partisan approach to legislating.
 
Fortunately, the Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) has confirmed what local activists tried to tell Tipton last week – that Lamborn’s bill was a fraud.  While Boehner planned to increase funding for transportation infrastructure projects over the next five years using oil shale lease revenue, the CBO found that there would be no such revenue until 2016 – and only $5 million a year thereafter!
 
Thus, instead of eliminating billions in unneeded subsidies to the oil and gas industry or imposing a small surcharge on the taxes of the “1 percent” to fund infrastructure projects (as President Obama proposed), Republicans would “pay for” those projects with wishful thinking – just as they did the tax cuts for the wealthy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Medicare prescription drug benefit.  Even Tea Partiers should understand that this all-to-familiar Republican hypocrisy is what caused the deficit to mushroom.
 
BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction



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