Email letters, Oct. 30, 2012

Leading expert right in calling federal approach to oil shale ‘punitive’

Dr. Jeremy Boak, the foremost expert on oil shale in Colorado, is dead on when he characterizes the Obama administration’s approach to oil shale as “punitive.”

By removing from consideration for potential leasing not only the majority of the land under which oil shale is located, but also, as Gary Harmon’s story reports, some existing research and development land, the BLM is clearly advancing an anti-oil shale agenda. Far from being a “giveaway” to the oil shale industry, the 2 million acres identified by the Bush-era study were merely made available for lease application – putting the oil shale industry on the same footing as any other potential user of the land.

The BLM’s approach seems somewhat ironic, since just a week ago the president tried mightily on national television to paint himself and his energy policies as being truly “all the above” and encouraging of domestic oil production. This story demonstrates that, in fact, this administration is intent on doing all that it can to arbitrarily restrict and discourage a promising, prolific domestic energy source.

Meanwhile, this same administration is demonstrably eager to commit billions of taxpayer dollars to other developmental energies such as solar and wind – who happen to be great contributors to the president’s re-election fund.

This hardly seems like an even-handed, “all the above” approach to energy development; it seems more like the president playing politics with our region’s economy and our nation’s energy future.

JEFF BERGHORN
Grand Junction

Nation’s top commander abandoned his post

Why does President Obama keep calling himself “commander in chief” if he goes to fundraisers and talk shows while his embassy is under attack?
Four citizens were killed and Obama put his politics first.
What better proof about a president’s integrity when he deserts his citizens in need and in danger?

DAVE E. BROWN

Grand Junction

Physician cites legal, medical reasons not to make marijuana legal

I am strongly against Amendment 64, which really “legalizes” marijuana. The use of marijuana in our society is not a benign process. From a law enforcement viewpoint, Sheriff Stan Hilkey expressed an opinion strongly against “legalization” because of marijuana-associated criminal activity.
From a medical viewpoint, marijuana is very problematic. “Adolescent exposure (under 18) results in decreased cognition, anxiety, accidents, aggression, addiction,
risky sex, school drop out, Irreversible brain structural changes, and often psychosis.” (Google; Christian Thurston, M.D., Denver Health Medical Center, click on “marijuana and the teen brain”)

It is clear that marijuana use is very detrimental to the long-term health of those whose brain tissue is still maturing, which in some may be in the mid-20s.

The concept of “medical marijuana” was corrupted because of the way it was done. A more serious effort would have required that it be sold through legitimate pharmacies.

Amendment 64 suggests we regulate and tax. Given how easy it seems to be able to grow and process, I don’t see how it could possibly work. Motivated producers will simply bypass the regulators.

I would not want to see Colorado become a destination for marijuana users. I am concerned that to legitimize marijuana use, would, by extension, legitimize other illegal drug use.

Who financed and pushed for this? Why? Who gains?

The Colorado Legislature needs to start a discussion regarding drug use and its impact on the state. There are numerous stakeholders, families, educators, law enforcement, the medical, business, religious, and legal communities, and whatever other citizen groups or individuals who are interested in the core values of who we are in Colorado. Then legislate!

C.K. “MIKE” WANEBO, M.D.

Grand Junction

Reinstate President Obama to ensure national security

I strongly recommend that we do not change our presidential decision maker during this critical time of a potential nuclear war crisis in the Middle East. Disaster could be ignited by the actions of either the fundamentally religious leaders of Iran or Israel.

Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons while Iran desires parity. Both are being driven by the fear of a future surprise pre-emptive attack. They are putting their hopes in the insanely immoral policy of mutually-assured-destruction as a deterrent.

We need a seasoned statesman such as JFK during the Cuban missile crisis to thread this dangerous passage. We need a president who will pursue tough, independent decision-making policies to hold them both in check.

General Colin Powell, former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the G.W.Bush administration, recently endorsed President Obama. He stated his “concerns” about Gov. Romney’s economic and foreign policy plans arguing Romney had provided a “moving target.”

“One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan, but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal. Same thing in Iraq,” Powell said. “On every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Gov. Romney agreed with the president, with some nuances, but this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign.”

Powell went on to praise Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq, thus essentially ending the conflict that began during Powell’s tenure in the Bush administration. “I think that the actions he’s taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very solid,” Powell said. “So I think we ought to keep on the track that we’re on.”

Trust the man who’s lived and experienced all the pitfalls and complications of the G.W.Bush administration’s wars. For our nation’s safety and national security, Gen. Colin Powell recommends the re-election of Obama.

LANCE OSWALD
Grand Junction

Blame natural gas reserves, not president, for ‘war on coal’

As a resident of the North Fork Valley and a former coal miner, I would like to address this “War on Coal” President Obama is supposedly waging.

As reported in these pages, virtually every request by the local mines for lease enlargements has been approved. Recently the BLM approved a reduction in royalty payments at West Elk Mine, to the tune of nearly $3 million, because of difficult mining conditions. Federal agencies have adopted the Colorado model for roadless areas that specifically allows the road building and drilling these mines need to operate. This doesn’t sound like a war on coal to me.

Then there is the EPA. Without clean air standards there would be no reason to ship clean Western coal to eastern markets that have plenty of dirty coal underfoot.

Coal’s share of the domestic market is shrinking because huge natural gas reserves have come on line close to major markets. Coal is going to suffer from this competition no matter who is president. All the scapegoating in the world will not change this.

JOE SCHEETZ
Paonia

Headline about sexual assaults at CMU alarming, inaccurate

We are Colorado Mesa University students who understand the severity of sexual assault and the importance of awareness, prevention, reporting and conviction. This letter is a response to The Daily Sentinel’s front-page story of Oct. 9 titled, “Incidents of Rape Jump at CM.” The headline was alarming and inaccurate. The content of the story was misleading as well, mixing safety report figures with vague, inconsistent descriptions of allegations.

Many parents of CMU students read that article, and many now wonder if their daughters will get back to their dorm rooms safely at night. We’re also concerned that other community members were misled by this distortion of campus dangers. CMU pays close attention to safety for all students, and we feel fortunate to have an exceptionally safe campus compared to other campuses.

The reality is that every student on every campus should stay aware, take precautions and report any kind of assault. This article could have been valuable to readers if it had clarified the important facts and included information such as how students are protecting themselves, how CMU statistics compare to similar campuses, and where students and parents can find resources, online links, etc.

When your newspaper covers a subject as serious as this one, please focus on the value of truth, rather than shock.

ASHLEY BERNAL
DONOVAN HAYNIE
ALLIE ILDEFONSO
CHRISTINA BAUERT
WHITNEY KIDD
ANNIE HALVERSTADT
COURTNEY CARTER
TAYLOR ADAMS
CONOR HATCH
SUMMER ESTRELLA
AMANDA SCHLAEFER
CHAD VONSEGGERN
DANIEL WALTERSCHEID
JASON SUDDUTH

Grand Junction



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Finally a sober assessment of President Obama’s so called “war on coal.” Thank you, Mr.Scheetz!

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