Email Letters: May 17, 2017
Let’s fight to ensure the existence of ancient culture in Bears Ears
What and how a person shows respect are important in the telling of that person’s character. Do they respect other people’s property and opinions? It’s not just how or what the individual respects but what our culture respects that really shows our maturity. Do we judge other cultures by how much they resemble ours, or by how much we understand theirs? Another measure of our character is how we treat and respect other cultures of different times.
Right now we are threatening the ancient culture that exists in Bears Ears National Monument. This is an example of how and what we respect. It is an example that is telling of our character. There are thousands of scared sites, ancient dwellings, ancient pottery remains, and examples of farming and hunting methods that tell of these people, their concerns, and what they respected. All these show how they lived. If we allow the destruction and razing of this lifestyle, we have little respect for this ancient culture. Maybe it shows how little respect we have for ourselves.
Let’s take a big step beyond our present paradigm and move to respect these ancient people. Let’s fight the political fight to ensure the existence of this culture in Bears Ear National Monument to be enjoyed and studied by future generations. Once it’s crushed, pilfered, or disregarded as trash, it’s gone forever. Is this showing respect?
If the Senate votes for Trumpcare, constituents won’t forget
Trumpcare will cost me more and cover less. How can the Senate vote to do that to constituents? The Affordable Care Act is important to me because I saved about $45 a month when Obamacare took affect. Trumpcare is a giveaway to corporate insurance companies who can now return to the days of charging us outrageous amounts for junk policies that aren’t there for us when we need it. Trumpcare allows insurers to go back to the days of discriminating against patients with pre-existing conditions. That’s appalling. If the Senate votes for it, constituents like me won’t forget. Trumpcare not only ends policies for so many of those on Medicaid, it bans those who keep it from using their insurance to be treated at Planned Parenthood – the only provider in many areas.
Letter writer not entitled to redefine the meaning of hypocrisy
While Ms. J.C. Smith can be forgiven for her Wednesday letter (“Mainstream media should cover outrageous hypocrisy”) crossing in the mail with the rapidly unfolding events in Washington, she is not entitled to redefine the meaning of “hypocrisy” or to inject false facts to bolster her misinformed opinion.
First, “hypocrisy” is defined as “a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially, the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.” That definition clearly and aptly applies to cowardly Republicans claiming to be patriots, to the president they support despite his contempt for the Constitution, and to the “social conservatives” who disregard the moral failings that permeate this administration.
Second, by now, both Democrats (led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer) and responsible Republicans are calling for the president to select “a new FBI director who is non-political and experienced.” Indeed, yesterday, Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) opined that President Trump should name a Democrat to succeed James Comey in that position.
Third, Democrats have announced that they may refuse to confirm a new FBI Director – not until they “get what they want politically over outstanding matters” – but rather only until a special prosecutor is named to investigate Trump and “all things Russian.” Thus, Smith’s obfuscation of that widely publicized fact reveals her own partisan hypocrisy.
Fourth, the growing bipartisan call for a special prosecutor is well-founded. As Senator John McCain (R-Az.) observed last evening, the rapidly multiplying allegations against the Trump administration have reached – or nearly reached – “Watergate size and scale.” Thus, there is nothing “hypocritical” about Schumer’s demand for a special prosecutor.
Finally, Smith’s claim that she has “seen or heard no mainstream news commentator, news service, or left-leaning talking head question this logic” proves more than she intended – because appointment of a special prosecutor is an entirely logical response to Trump’s apparent “obstruction of justice” in firing Preet Bharara, Sally Yates, and Comey (all of whom were involved in investigating various aspects of Trump’s dubious dealings) and his brazen “abuse of authority” in attempting to induce Comey to drop the Flynn investigation.
Report littering on your public lands
On May 13, a hardy group of local residents representing Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, as well as members of the local Grand Junction Bureau of Land Management, met at 34 and C Road to do some necessary cleanup of this desert area.
This area is very popular with shooting enthusiasts, mountain bikers and off-road motorized vehicles. Some of these individuals, and others as well, get forgetful or careless about leaving behind considerable trash.
With temperatures near 80 degrees and sustained winds at 24 mph the group managed to fill more than two tandem trailers with trash and debris.
If you observe someone littering on your public lands, protect it by taking a photograph, get a license number or a vehicle description and contact the local sheriffs office at 970-244-3500 or contact the Grand Junction Bureau of Land Management at 970-256-0358.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Retaining BLM’s methane waste prevention rule a win for Colorado
In 2014, Colorado became the first state to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas drilling, with three goals: shrink our carbon footprint; improve local air quality; and, make a few bucks capturing escaped methane gas. While a couple industry trade groups fought the rules, some producers, including Encana, Devon Energy and Anadarko, supported the measures and even helped write the rules.
By 2016, a study by Keating Research, Inc. found that seven of 10 oil and gas industry representatives in Colorado said the benefits outweighed the costs.
In a win for Colorado last week, the U.S. Senate failed to advance a resolution that would have nullified the BLM’s methane waste prevention rule, which was based on Colorado’s rule. For months now, farmers, businesses, community leaders and residents all across Colorado and the Western Slope have been calling on Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner to vote against nullifying this rule. While Sen. Gardner let his constituents down, others showed more courage. Special thanks to Sens. John McCain (Arizona), Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), and our own Sen. Michael Bennet.
The BLM Methane Rule ensures that methane escaping from oil and gas operations is not wasted and vented into the air. Capturing methane has positive economic and environmental impacts. This rule ensures that Colorado won’t have to go it alone, that we won’t continue to be impacted by methane vented from neighboring states, and that operators everywhere will be held to the same standards. This rule levels the playing field for Colorado and benefits us economically. Producers make money on captured methane, Colorado collects on the royalties – and we can all breathe a little easier as a result.