Email letters, May 6, 2013
Collaborative energy bill worthy of governor’s signature
I’m a sustainable business guy. Last week though, I spent the afternoon, somewhat incongruously, you might think, with friends at the Elk Creek coal mine in Somerset. We were there with Sen. Mark Udall and his staff to tour our coalmine methane to electricity plant, the first of its kind in the state.
The project brought together strange bedfellow indeed: Aspen Skiing Company, Holy Cross Energy, Vessels Coal Gas, Gunnison Energy and the Oxbow/Elk Creek Mine. Together, we’re using an otherwise wasted resource to benefit our communities.
The project is as important for what it does as what it says in a divided America: I’m from a very different world than coal miners, and though we may differ on many issues, I have grown to like them all enormously.
It’s just this sort of project, and collaboration, that will become more likely thanks to SB252, which passed both Colorado houses and now only needs the governor’s signature to become law.
The bill increases Colorado’s renewable energy standard for co-ops and increases Colorado’s power diversity, taking advantage of a variety of resources, including wind, solar, mine methane and syn gas from municipal waste. The bill opens up new job prospects for our citizens and new economic opportunities for the state.
It also means stable power prices, cleaner air and outside investment. I want to thank Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Energy Office for supporting SB252, as well as bill co-sponsors Sens. Gail Schwartz and John Morse and Reps. Mark Ferrandino and Crisanta Duran.
Rachel Sauer masterfully soothes sorrow in feature article
Rachel Sauer’s article Sunday, April 28, did much to dispel the sorrow caused by the Boston marathon bombing. It was a masterful blending of science and literature while invoking the divine presence behind it all.
She quotes a medieval writer, Giovanni Giocondo (1513), who says, “The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see it, and to see, we only have to look. … Life is so full of meaning and of purpose – that you will find that earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage, then, to claim it, that is all!”
Sauer also quotes British poet Rupert Brooke, who wrote on the eve of World War I, “We have found safety with all things underlying. The winds and morning tears of men and mirth the night, and hills singing and clouds flying. And sleep and freedom, and the autumnal earth. We have built a house that is not for Time’s throwing. We have gained a peace unshaken by pain forever.”
Thanks, Rachel, for being an inspiration to us all.
Chamber of Commerce wields great power in Mesa County
It has long been established that government — the people — have a dominating interest in commerce. That interest is based on commerce being a function of people relating to one another in a mutually beneficial way for buyers and sellers. We have codes, regulations and laws based on experience that some take advantage of others in various ways, absent guidance from representatives of the people. The people decide how, when and where they want commerce to take place.
Chambers of commerce are organizations of business people to benefit their members in various ways, not the least of which is to have an advisory voice in how those codes, regulations and laws are devised that the people want imposed on commercial enterprises for the benefit of the people. In many, maybe most, communities around the country, chambers of commerce consider themselves partners with the people for the benefit of the quality of life in the community.
But not in Grand Junction and Mesa County. Here, the chamber is the adversary of the people, but the chamber does it, as far as we know, within existing laws. They have chosen to take steps to pack the City Council so that commerce will determine how, when and where they want to do business.
Now we find out that they also want to influence public attitudes by use of a sister organization, but without acknowledging who is behind their activities in public. Do they have something to hide? Why is secrecy necessary? Is this what you want?
You might query businesses you consider doing business with as to whether they are members of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. It’s always nice to know if you are dealing with a friend or someone who considers you an adversary and someone to dominate and manipulate.
Loosen environmental shackles to tap into abundant energy resources
Spark plugs in the “green machine” have become fouled; its engine is misfiring and slowing down. Proponents of “human-caused” global warming are or, should be, embarrassed by the fact that for the last 15 years global temperatures have not risen.
Greenies are panicking, blaming “human-caused” global warming for everything from difficult pregnancies to the spread of AIDS. To counter the diminished lack of interest by the public in “human caused” global warming, schoolchildren are being brainwashed into believing this fallacy.
Steven F. Hayward covers the subject in an excellent article in the April 29 issue of The Weekly Standard, (http://www.weeklystandard.com).
“Climate change” has affected Mother Earth for a million years or more. Luckily, we are not facing another ice age, at least not in the foreseeable future. Modest swings in temperature have been recorded over hundreds of years of Earth’s history.
Unfortunately, the “green machine” enjoys much power through ill-applied authority given by environmental laws, including the Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Rare and Endangered Species Act and volumes of regulations generated by federal agencies, enforcing their ideas as to the intent of each law.
We could be enjoying a much more robust economy if the shackles of environmental legislation were loosened, not removed, but limited to realistic interpretations by bureaucrats. Just think how much cheaper a gallon of gasoline would be if energy development was encouraged instead of being restricted at every step. We should be using our abundant resources and opening up a higher standard of living to all our citizens.
Current unemployment rate higher than that of Great Depression
Let’s see. There are 88.3 million Americans who have given up looking for a job or are still looking (6.77 million), according to the Government Bureau of Labor Statistics, for a total of 88.3 million unemployed in this country in 2012.
Since the working-over-16-but-under-65 population was 208 million in 2012, that’s a real unemployment rate, using the same methods used during the Great Depression, i.e. the total unemployed working age population divided by the total working age population, of 42 percent today compared to 25 percent during the Great Depression.
Lies, lies, lies and the idiots can’t see the con when it’s staring them in the face. All I can say is those that won’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Or those that can’t communicate with those that don’t learn from history are doomed to be drug into damnation with the idiots with whom they can’t communicate.
Isn’t “one man one vote” wonderful, even if that vote is from an ignorant moron? This is what the welfare state has brought us.
Bennet’s bipartisan immigration bill is country’s best chance for reform
Contrary to Richard Bright’s nativist rant (“Bennet offering charade on immigration reform,” May 5), Sen. Michael Bennet does not purport to be a “messiah who will solve the immigration issues we have.”
Rather, as accurately reported by the Sentinel (“Immigration-reform supporters champion their cause at GJ rally,” May 3), Bennet visited Grand Junction Thursday to explain provisions of the proposed “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” to his directly-affected constituents — local members of national agricultural groups.
Bright seems completely unaware that Western Slope farmers, growers and ranchers who rely on migrant workers regard the current H-2A visa program as administratively unworkable and incapable of meeting the demand for such labor – precisely because U.S. citizens are unwilling to “step up and help our farmers out when needed.”
Bright also seems unaware that undocumented workers make a positive contribution to our overall economy – by cheaply harvesting valuable crops while paying sales taxes, gas taxes, payroll taxes, etc. – even if their presence also modestly strains social services.
Bright willfully ignores the facts that the primary impetus for drug trafficking across our southern border is northerners’ insatiable demand for illegal drugs and that the NRA’s “gun lobby” has thwarted every effort to stem the flow of arms to drug cartels – either by expanding background checks to close the “gun show loophole” and/or by making “straw purchase” gun trafficking a federal offense. Meanwhile, U.S. gun manufacturers and hundreds of gun dealers in Arizona continue to greedily profit from those loopholes.
As Olathe’s John Harold opined, the bipartisan immigration reform bill cosponsored by Sens. Bennet and John McCain, et al – imperfect and contingent on $4.5 billion in enhanced border security as it is – nevertheless constitutes the best available opportunity to achieve much-needed comprehensive reforms.
Therefore, Rep. Scott Tipton should also support the bill.
President could resolve Benghazi questions quickly
Is there any reason why a bipartisan group from Congress can’t call a press conference and simply say “Mr. President, please order the State Department to release the names and locations of the people who survived the Benghazi attack”? The president could resolve all these questions in one minute with a brief directive.
Trashy homes below Bookcliffs degrade Grand Valley’s beauty
Recently, we had visitors who drove to our home via I-70 coming from Denver. We had told them of our beautiful valley of orchards and red rock canyons in hopes of luring them to move here with their lucrative business.
What they saw first were various “homes” scattered north of Palisade and Grand Junction on the desert below the Bookcliffs, which can only be described as junkyards. Our friends were not impressed.
Shame on our Mesa County commissioners for allowing this kind of trashing. Don’t we have any restrictions on using land (even private land) as a landfill?
It has only gotten worse year after year. It is time to step up, do your jobs and take action.
Is it time for a “red line” for Korea?
In the past couple of weeks, North Korea’s leadership has ramped up its threats to continue the testing of long-range missiles, which the Obama administration has been protesting.
One idea as to how Obama might respond in order to end North Korea’s saber rattling is to get seriously tough and “draw a red line.” Just look how effective this approach has been when dealing with Syria and Iran.
If deemed crazy, LaPierre might have his guns taken
NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre asked, “How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago?” Did his light bulb burn out just before he thought of that?
No doubt violent thoughts abounded that day, but if anyone there had a gun, whom would they shoot? And people with guns were there. They’re called policemen.
Meanwhile, up on his dais, LaPierre continues to incite crazy thinking, while saying the only thing we need to do is lock up crazy people. The background check bill would’ve helped without registering guns, but he shot that down. How do we stop crazy?
What about the dad who recently gave a 22-rifle to his son for his birthday? The kid was five years old, and he promptly killed his little sister by accident. Wasn’t that dad crazy?
LaPierre’s solution would deprive crazy people and possibly not crazy people of their First Amendment rights. How many crazy people think they’re crazy? Anyone who mutters out loud “I’d like to kill that so-and-so” might be deemed crazy enough to arrest.
Once again we’ll get back to the argument about Second Amendment rights being the premier, number-one right of all rights that can’t be reasoned with. Around and around we go, with “me” always being more important than “we.”
The entire Bill of Rights has been through more than 200 years of defining just how far rights can go before all that’s left to reason with is our reptile brain.
No one has or should have unlimited rights. LaPierre should be careful what he says. Someone might think he’s crazy and take away his guns.
Tipton’s, Schwenke’s Sunday columns ‘not to be missed’
I always turn first to the Sunday Commentary pages in the Sentinel, and Sunday’s (May 5) was exceptional. Even all of the cartoons were good, and the letters also hit the nail on the head.
I would like to recommend two columns not to be missed to those who haven’t yet had the time or opportunity: Scott Tipton’s recounting that “Federal … control, state water” and Diane Schwenke’s “… protect state’s economy.”
Both document the leftists (or progressives, or liberals, or Democrats or whatever they call themselves today) trying to control and dictate everything from Denver and Washington. It’s time to say “enough.”
Our country is at risk, and it’s under attack from within. Most of the media are in the leftists’ pockets, for reasons I can’t fathom. They should be doing their job of “speaking truth to power” as we used to hear from them in the Reagan-Bush years.
Thanks to The Daily Sentinel for continuing to show why freedom of the press is so important to us all, and please keep up the good work.
GEORGE E. CORT