E-mail letters, Sept. 2, 2010

Xcel’s plan to retire coal plants is good for the environment

The Daily Sentinel has hit the nail on the head: Xcel Energy’s plan to retire and repower Front Range coal plants is good for the environment and good for the economy.

On behalf of our over 3,500 members and activists on the West Slope, we think the direction Xcel is moving makes sense.

With approximately 25,000 customers in the Grand Junction area, Xcel has a responsibility to deal with upcoming EPA regulations in a cost-effective manner. It is clear that moving forward with a comprehensive, coordinated strategy to hit federal, clean-air requirements (as opposed to being caught flat-footed and required to do expensive retrofits on old, dirty sources of power) is the smartest path forward.

This strategy will save Xcel customers over $225 million, while dramatically improving our air quality and growing jobs in the new energy economy.

We are paving the way for our children and grandchildren to breathe healthier, cleaner air — this is something Coloradans across the state can get behind.

DANA HOFFMAN

Environment Colorado

Denver

Sentinel should not have taken Xcel’s claims at face value

As a third generation miner working in the Yampa Valley and as one of the state’s more than 2,300 coal miners, I was insulted to see The Daily Sentinel’s recent editorial “Xcel plan is good for environment, economy” dismiss as “hand wringing” our concerns about the impact that House Bill 1365 and Xcel Energy’s plan to implement it will have on our jobs, our families and our communities. Many of us took time off from work, without pay, to appear and voice our objections to Xcel’s dirty, back-room deal with the Public Utilities Commission to line the pockets of out of state gas executives. We were more than 400 strong! You should have listened more carefully to what we were saying.

The editorial claims that Xcel’s plan won’t “decimate the digging of coal in this region” or lead to the loss of one job, based on a summary by Xcel of a university study it refuses to make public. First, coalmines in northwest Colorado sell more than 2.5 million tons annually to the Front Range power plants; coal that will no longer be sold there because those plants will switch to much-higher-cost natural gas. How is that not “decimating” production, which has already fallen in recent years? And do you think for a minute that companies won’t layoff people if they have to stop or reduce production? As a miner, I know differently.

I thought journalists were supposed to be skeptical. Why did the Sentinel accept Xcel’s claims at face value without at least making them turn over the study on which it was based?

GRAHAM ROBERTS

Craig

Medical benefits of marijuana are unknown

Before people vote “No” on medical marijuana dispensaries please research the history of marijuana. Find the truth of who, how and why it was banned in 1937.

In 1974, a study by Medical College of Virginia, THC was found to slow and/or prevent cell growth of three cancers in mice: lung, breast, virus-induced leukemia. In 2000, researchers in Madrid destroyed incurable brain tumors in rats by injecting them with THC that inhibited tumor growth in lab animals.

In 1944, Harry Anslinger went berserk, threatening doctors with prison if they dare carry out independent research on cannabis.  In 1976, the Ford administration banned independent research and research by federal health programs on the use of natural cannabis derivatives for medicine.

Very little research has been done on marijuana and that won’t change as long as fear remains.

To the mothers of PACT, what if marijuana could save your teenager from cancer one day?

There has not been much research done on marijuana due to the atmosphere of fear and lies, what if it truly is a miracle plant?

SANDRA ALDERSEA

Parachute

Wagner continues to fan flames of political division

Regarding Rick Wagner’s Sept. 2 column: his comments on Bernie Buescher’s loss to Laura Bradford two years ago is flawed. Mr. Buescher was to be the house speaker and chair of the Joint Budget Committee. This represents significant clout for Western Colorado. What this could have meant to the people of the Western Slope, we’ll never know. Fair to say it would have exceeded anything Ms. Bradford has done.

Mr. Wagner has repeatedly placed political victory ahead of the people. He has used his position to fan the flames of a division fire that is devastating our country.

Radical, right-wing Republicans have made it clear, that if not successful in November, they will reduce our system of government to ashes. This is nothing short of political terrorism. Americans will not be extorted.

Republicans had years to prepare for the governer’s race. Many Democrats were resigned to losing that race. Now, a month after the primary, and two months before elections, Republicans still don’t have a viable candidate. Yet they insist they are the only ones capable of governing. Anybody seen Dick Wadham lately?

JOHN A IJAMS

Grand Junction

Habitat builds houses because it is more economical

This is a response to the letter written by Cynthia Buttermore printed on August 26. Habitat for Humanity is building homes in a down economy. We’re excited that we can help stimulate the economy by putting contractors to work (thank you Sorter Construction and subs!).

Experience has shown us that purchasing a home from a private party or bank costs us much more to rehab than if we built the home from the ground up. Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County only builds Energy Star homes so that we can assure that our new homeowners will have manageable utility payments in addition to an affordable mortgage. We would be unable to do this efficiently with a rehabbed home unless we virtually did a tear-down.

Also, certain grants are available to us when we build that would be unavailable to us if we chose to rehab over building. These grants can be as high as $50,000 per home. To find out more about owning a home, or for volunteer opportunities please visit http://www.hfhmesa.org or email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .

AMY ROGERS

Executive Director

Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County Grand Junction



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