Printed letters, Aug. 8, 2010

The Daily Sentinel’s Aug. 5 editorial, “A Mandate for High Court Action,” regarding the individual mandate in the health care law, made a strong case that the Supreme Court take up the issue as soon as possible because of the serious effects the mandate will have on all Americans.

We completely agree with the assertion that the mandate is at the very heart of the health care legislation and, in order for our country to move forward with health care reform, the Supreme Court must address whether or not the mandate is constitutional.

If the courts hold the mandate to be constitutional, it would be an unprecedented amount of power given to Congress. If Congress can force individuals to purchase health insurance, what’s to stop them from forcing us to buy any other product? Do we really want the federal government to have this much power over our individual lives and decisions? Giving the federal government this much control is not in the best interest of our nation.

This is the reason why 20 states including Colorado, and the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents approximately 350,000 small businesses, filed a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of the health care law.

We’re hopeful, on behalf of small business and all Americans, that our case will get to the U.S. Supreme Court swiftly and that the justices will agree that the individual mandate is a gross violation of our constitutional rights.

KAREN HARNED

Executive Director

NFIB Small Business Legal Center

Washington, D.C.

Water estimates will drop as shale research proceeds

Thank you to The Daily Sentinel for the recent article on oil shale. It shows that water-use estimates for oil shale continue to drop as companies invest in research and new technologies.

It is a fact: Oil shale production will use water, and water is a huge issue here in the Intermountain West.

The new study mentioned in the article estimates needing about 1.7 barrels of water for every barrel of shale oil. Previous estimates were as high as 3 to 7 barrels of water per barrel of oil. There are even some companies now developing technologies that use almost no water.

As we debate oil shale in America, we need to keep in mind that companies will continue to invest in technologies that will use less water. So, it should be safe to assume that water-use estimates for oil shale will continue to drop. We also need to keep in mind that the study discussed in the article assumes a 1.5 million barrel-per-day oil shale industry. That would be a large industry that, today, would make us about 25 percent less dependent on imported oil.

However, this size of industry will not come into existence overnight. It will start small and develop in a slow and methodical manner. Even if we started today, getting to the point that we are producing 1.5 million barrels per day would likely take a couple of decades. In those years, research will continue, new technologies will be developed, and new water-saving techniques will be deployed.

It is becoming clear that water for oil shale can be managed. Now, the question has changed into whether we should use a portion of our water to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Only you can decide.

CURTIS MOORE Executive Director Environmentally Conscious Consumers for Oil Shale

Grand Junction

Dispute has never been about legal immigration

On Tom Tancredo and immigration, a letter Aug. 1 seems to confuse legal immigration and the invasion of illegal immigrants coming from Mexico.

The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, declares that Congress “shall have power to establish uniform rule of naturalization.” Mr. Tancredo’s immigrant kin — as well as my own, who came from Ireland and Germany — came legally. They did not sneak in, nor were they smuggled in illegally. The issue is not now, nor has it ever been, a call to cease legal immigration.

The problem is the federal government has adopted policy that, in essence, says it will not enforce federal immigration law. And Congress has not yet given our president what he wants — rewriting of immigration law. So, President Obama violates our Constitution and does his community organizing thing, applying the communist dialectic of pressure from above/pressure from below.

And “useful idiots ” enable him by pretending Tancredo and the rest of us are being racist, or xenophobic and the U.S. Constitution and existing federal law are violated by those entrusted to preserve, protect and defend such.

ROBERT JAMES BURKHOLDER

Fruita

Are Muslims filling ranks of anti-drilling groups?

I often wonder what percentage of the environmentalists always filing suits to expound their agenda of “never drill anywhere, any time” are Muslims, Arabs or are from other oil-producing countries.

Could it be that they are mixed in with our tree huggers, financing lawsuits and really enjoy us being at the mercy of the Middle East?

R.M. SHERMAN

Grand Junction



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