Email letters, Nov. 7, 2011

Balance is needed between industry and conservation

Our county has been hard hit by the recession. What this county has is a growing gas industry that likes to be known as jobs. This county felt the jobs promise in the early 1980s.

Jobs, in the short-term, are too important to ignore. As individuals, with families, we know living in the short-term does not support family stability and guarantee community confidence. Without stability and confidence, nothing is invested, and I am not talking money.

The problem is reaching a balance. No one talks conservation, but conservation should be encouraged. An example: If legislation had been passed for higher mandatory gas mileage from our car manufacturers years ago, they would have been more competitive against imports and Americans’ paradigm that we are at the mercy of foreign oil providers would not exist.

Even if you still have a stable income, practicing conservation can extend your lot and set an example for family and friends. Conservation is good for the family budget, good for the environment and good for all of our futures. Because if anyone takes the time to plot the increase of earthquakes around the country, they will find rough correlative data between these cluster earthquakes and drilling sites that pressure-inject “produced” water back into the ground. Since each fracturing uses 6–7 million gallons of our precious and limited water, and each well is fracked several times, that is a lot of water to inject under pressure and less water for all to drink.

By conservation, we could slow the need to drill and pressure-inject produced water, thereby reducing “externalities” such as air, water and soil contamination, noise pollution, wildlife death and habitat destruction, and we could actually save ourselves from pressure-injection earthquakes.

Does anyone know if we are pressure injecting near the Yellowstone Caldera?

BENITA PHILLIPS
Palisade

Sentinel’s objectivity is compromised

I read The Daily Sentinel every day and appreciate the independent role of the press in enhancing the ability of our democracy to function. However, I also believe that, as with most things, there are responsibilities that go along with these rights. I am concerned that at least on two occasions recently, The Daily Sentinel has appeared overzealous in its reporting.

The first incident was about having the professional bike race leg in the Colorado National Monument. This story received excessive coverage relative to its newsworthiness.

Some of the reporting appeared personal, blaming the Monument’s superintendent for a decision almost certainly made in Washington, D.C., since it had implications for management of our entire National Park system. It’s reasonable to be concerned that the publisher of the paper was on that local committee, and that this may have influenced the coverage.

The second incident is more serious. It seems to me that the Mesa County Public Trustee’s decision to move the foreclosure notices away from the Sentinel to other local papers does not warrant five stories about him in one week.

It also seems to me that these stories have become quite personal with the Sentinel attempting to demonize the trustee for this business decision. While it’s clear why the Sentinel would disagree with the decision, it’s not clear to me that the Sentinel is objectively reporting on the topic.

It’s a hard task to strike the right balance between acting as an important voice in the democratic process vs. taking advantage of the power of that voice. I’m sure everyone at the Sentinel wrestles with these issues every day. I hope that you will continue to err on the side of objectivity.

TAMERA MINNICK
Grand Junction

Colorado should ban imported coal-fired power

There is a widespread false notion that Americans have to choose between jobs and healthy people.  The truth is that burning coal makes Americans sick and is strangling our economy with billions of dollars in health care costs.

Every year, dirty coal plants in Colorado emit 1,186 pounds of mercury into the air, which rains down into rivers and streams and makes its way into people’s bodies through contaminated fish.  In fact, at least 1 in 12, and as many as one in six women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her body to put her baby at risk of neurological and developmental problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

A healthy economy requires healthy people, clean air and clean water.  New mercury protections proposed by the EPA would reduce mercury in our air and water by more than 90 percent.  Responsible Kansans want Colorado to immediately and formally ban the purchase of coal-fired power from any other state.  The proposed coal plant in Kansas for Colorado was issued a fraudulent permit putting all the power of pollution review in the hands of Sunflower Corporation, Tri State and Peabody Energy after they persuaded Kansas legislators to pass a bill mandating the Kansas Department of Health and Environment [KDHE] Secretary Bremby approve the permit for a coal plant in Holcomb, KS or resign from his job.  Secretary Bremby had a choice and so does Colorado. 

Shortly after the fraudulent permit was approved by the new KDHE Secretary, the five state agencies who had adopted the use of an online database in 2005 called SOLAR for oil drilling permits and tax reporting finally changed it to KOLAR. https://solar.kgs.ku.edu I discovered it in 2009 and immediately issued a notice to cease and desist the fraudulent misuse of the word “solar” to title an online database for oil drilling permits and tax reporting.

Protect not only Kansans, but the entire United States from the market power tyranny of the massive trillion-dollar momentum of coal-fired fossil fuel commerce.  Momentum is the problem and momentum is the solution.  Colorado cannot ethically rely on Kansas for electricity generated by coal-fired electricity.  We compel Americans to pass a federal law banning the export of fossil fuel electricity from state to state primarily for investor commerce.  U.S. Congress must mandate export and/or import for interstate electricity be allowed only via electricity generated by sustainable renewable pollution-free technologies like wind energy, Solar Chimneys and BI-PV Solar Architecture.

The reality is that we are all under siege by a mindless momentum of energy commerce that is out of control.  It will take all of our leaders in every sector of commerce to facilitate the needed industry transformation.  A meaningful level of renewable energy in the Midwest will take most of this century to achieve.  Find out more about the Kansas Solar Electric Co-operatives, Inc. and The K-SEC Model by visiting our website at http://www.BI-PVSolarArchitecture.com .

EILEEN M. SMITH
Founder & CEO
Kansas Solar Development Co-operatives, Inc
Lawrence, Kan.

Patient gives thanks for care at St. Mary’s

I recently had a medical emergency and had to spend roughly 24 hours at St. Mary’s Hospital.

I would like to thank all of the staff involved with my care during my stay. I could not have been treated better and when I left, I had most of my dignity intact.

As far as I am concerned they are all saints for what was involved in fixing me up. I pray God blesses them all.

PHILIP STARK
Grand Junction

Obama administration has been a disgrace

I would like to respond to Harry McDonald’s letter titled “Republicans responsible for economic distress.” He starts out fairly well with his description of the Dodd-Frand Bill, but what he fails to mention is the pressure put on these banks and lending institutions by Democrats to make these loans to unqualified people.

Then he goes into his diatribe about the top 1 percent and how the Republican Party is called the Party of the Rich, so lets examine his knowledge. The lions share of the top 1 percent are Democrats like most of Hollywood, a good portion of the political system, and out east you have the Rockefellers, the Rothchilds and big money that has been influencing our monetary system for years, so the irony of his statement is amazing.

He states the wealthy are not the job creators, but the middle class that make purchases. My question to him would be, where did the middle class get the job for these purchases? Then he mentions the president’s job plan which would only create a small portion of the jobs needed and they would all be in the public sector and who does he think would pick up the tab, making our credit rating even worse. Even the most simple minded people know you can’t spend more than you make and have your credit rating go up.

All of these wealthy Democrats have had a chance to pay more into the system if they would like to, even our president, but none are willing. However, they are sure willing to spend your money.

Dishonesty, misdirection and deception have been the calling card of the Democratic Party and most of this administration and its czars would be in jail if they were subject to the same judicial system as the majority of Americans.

This administration has been a disgrace to the majority of Americans and it is time we stand up for truth, honor and integrity in the White House. Democrats and Republicans who don’t pay attention, are about to find out the meaning of “In God we trust” in the next election.

GARY W. TAYLOR
Grand Junction

Thank you for The Daily Sentinel’s excellent series of articles covering the Oil Shale Symposium a few weeks ago in Golden. One of the articles, “Oil shale boom would come with challenges, speakers say,” mentioned my remarks at the conference’s closing plenary session, reporting that “Only an indefinable variable, what Hanson called an ‘X factor,’ seems to be standing in the way of a full-bore boom.”

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify what I intended to say in my talk. The point I was trying to make is that, historically, volatile oil prices plus national security anxieties plus active federal encouragement are the recipe for an oil shale boom, but that companies needed to add an “X factor” to that equation if they wanted to transform a boom into a stable industry. And that X factor is sustainability.

By “sustainability” I mean business models that will promote planned growth rather than boom-and-bust chaos, and operational plans that demonstrate a commitment to preserving the area’s unique and fragile environment. Even if the companies operating in shale country do finally develop the necessary technology, they will need to address socioeconomic and environmental concerns in order to create a stable industry. Sustainable practices are the key to the industry’s long-term future. Without an intentional focus on sustainability, the chances of another boom and bust cycle are by definition much higher.

JASON HANSON
Boulder

 



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