E-mail letters, Feb. 24, 2010

Nuclear industry will require massive subsidies

I am aware of the pros and cons concerning the Pinon Ridge Uranium Mill. There is another view that is rarely expressed in our media coverage. My husband spent his entire career in the nuclear Navy, which meant being at sea almost continuously, except for having command of the nuclear submarine base in New London, Conn., and Pentagon duty. After retirement, he was hired to build a nuclear plant for Bechtel and it had no problems.

Unistar Nuclear Energy, which in 2007 became the first company in nearly 30 years to apply to build a reactor in the U.S., should concern taxpayers. Unistar estimates three reactors in Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania will cost up to $38 billion to build, with a joint venture between a French nuclear firm and U.S. based Constellation Energy. Despite having only $575 million in capital assets as of 2009, Unistar aims to start a nuclear revival that hinges on getting the U.S. government to underwrite this plan — the federally backed loans. So Obama has announced $8.3 billion in federal loans for two nuclear reactors in Georgia. And we haven’t even figured out where to store radioactive waste.

The public rescued this industry once before. The last series of reactors built were plagued by boondoggles. Remember the Long Island Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant which took 20 years to build, cost $6 billion (more than 80 times the original estimate) and never came on line?

Two reactors built in Finland and France are in multi-billion cost overruns. In the U.S., new estimates for a nuclear plant, one by Moody’s, puts the cost at $12 billion. That makes nuclear power more expensive than large-scale renewable sources, wind, biomass and hydropower.

The lobbying effects have begun to pay off. Nuclear subsidies are the key to getting Republican vote for a senate climate vote - to offset defections from coal-state Democrats.

Pinon Ridge uranium enthusiasts will be happy, health and environmental issues won’t even be a concern, or will they?

Peggy Rawlins

Grand Junction

Comprehensive plan does right by riverfront Regarding the adoption of the city’s comprehensive plan, I would like to thank the Grand Junction City Council for unanimously voting to incorporate verbiage introduced by Gregg Palmer, which specifically recognizes the importance of our riverfront and the efforts put forth by the community to enhance and continue improving this vital corridor. Also, the plan encourages future councils and leaders to protect and enhance the riverfront so that future generations may appreciate the scenic beauty, enjoy and expand upon the trail system, and continue improving and expanding community access. I know I speak for thousands in celebrating the spirit of this amendment to the comprehensive plan, the hope that it gives to Grand Junction’s future, the recognition it gives to the work begun years ago, and the unwritten promise that someday industrial zoning will not exist on the riverfront.

Janet Magoon, President

Western Colorado Congress of Mesa County

Grand Junction

Tea Party participants should be leery of GOP

Be leery of any Republicans jumping on the Tea Party bandwagon. They may promise a stop to big government, outrageous spending and higher taxes. But they are, after all, politicians (most of whom are lawyers).

I urge voters not to choose the lesser of two evils. The Republicans have helped get us in

this mess.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stated “Nothing will become of the Tea Party

Movement.” Arnold has done such a great job in California. I hope we can prove him wrong.

The Tea Party is not a political party. It is a movement of outraged citizens who are tired of a government that won’t listen. Politicians, who pretend to listen and then make false promises, will not get my vote. It is time to make a stand — for our children and our

children’s children. Maybe the Tea Party should become a third political party.

Kent Oldham

Grand Junction

Salazar’s D.C. staff is unprofessional

When Congressman John Salazar first sought office, he impressed many of us as being a good moderate. Even though I am not a Democrat, I not only voted for him, but convinced others to do so as well. I have since changed my mind.

Not only has he voted for legislation such as the Obamacare package that has more pork than health in it, the staff he employs in Washington, D.C. has consistently made it clear to me they don’t want to take my phone calls. I want to make it clear that when I have called any of his offices here in Colorado to voice a concern over legislation, I have been treated very courteously. That is not the case when I call the D.C. office.

One of things I have figured out when I call is that I need to ask them to repeat what I said so my thoughts are conveyed accurately. Recently, when I called to tell them that any bill that has to have back room and midnight deals is not an honest piece of legislation, the gal had only written down that I didn’t like the health care bill.

When I tried to press her on it and get her to think (apparently that was the crime – she didn’t want to think) by asking how she would feel if their party was the minority party and the other party was treating them in the manner the Democrats are currently treating the Republicans, she said she couldn’t comment on that. I pushed a little by asking, “Would you like to be treated that way?” and she promptly hung up. How

unprofessional! And this is the staff that John Salazar has?

We need a responsible representative who will only staff the office with courteous, responsible people.

Leona Hemmerich

Dinosaur

What about health problems associated with body farm?

I have a couple of questions regarding the proposed Mesa State body farm.

First, if it is to be such a clean, sweet installation, I wonder why they do not find a nice spot for it on campus.

Second, if a big bird happens to fly in and pick up piece of a body, then drops it in someone’s back yard, then a child comes in contact with it, should that be reported? Or should they put the body part in the freezer to hold as evidence for the lawsuit in case the kid comes down with some weird disease sometime in the future?

Wade Foster

Grand Junction

Clotheslines are the best

Alternative energy

For all intents and purposes, it is impossible for many Americans to operate the only organic solar energy system that exists. It’s called a clothesline. Operating this awesome solar energy system can save upwards of 30 percent on your home electric bill. Presumably the rope and twine lobby haven’t bought legislation and earmarks from Congress to legalize and encourage clothesline use.

But clotheslines aren’t free. It would cost about $50 dollars for the cement, posts and rope. Indeed, many people can save $50 per month by driving the posted speeds. Likely this would be more effective than the “cash for clunkers” program ever could hope to be. Couldn’t the administration and Congress at least attempt to do something that costs

absolutely zero dollars?

What Congress would rather do, is spend billions on wind turbines and solar panels. Their goal is to produce 30 percent of our energy with expensive systems to replace the same 30 percent of electricity we could save for practically free. Also consider that “green” energy products like solar panels and CFL bulbs are not environmentally friendly enough to manufacture here in the United States. We rely upon pollution outsourcing to accomplish making our “green” energy products

Not to mention the pollution that is outsourced for good old fashioned “dirty” energy. Ask a Canadian what they think about our pollution outsourced to Canada so we can drive our cars, and manufacture Prius batteries. Many Canadians want to revoke NAFTA for that very reason. What happens when Chinese environmentalists get fed up with our NIMBY pollution outsourcing

Until such time as our NIMBY problem is addressed, I really don’t expect that we will harvest much energy from wind and solar. Solving the NIMBY problem starts at home with a clothesline. Feel free to install a clothesline. Also feel free to use profane expletives while addressing the HOA busy bodies if they whine about your solar energy system.

Roger Cotton

Grand Junction


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