Printed letters, August 22, 2012

This letter is a reply to the column that appeared on Aug. 15 by Bill Grant. Grant sings the praises of Sal Pace who “just wants to get along” while castigating Rep. Tipton for his position that he was “not sent to Washington to get along.”

Tipton’s position is that of many of us here in western Colorado. We expect our representative to represent our positions on national issues.Tipton is doing just that. We do not want a representative who kowtows to leftists in Congress and the Oval Office. We do not want our beloved country turned into a socialist one. That’s where we are headed under the present administration.

Rep. Tipton and his colleagues are acting as effective brakes on that movement toward socialism. Both Rep. Tipton and Pace need to speak to the issues rather than arguing about getting things done. Some things should be left undone!

Let’s find out just what things Pace wants to get done and how. Let’s also find out what Tipton proposes as ways to restore some semblance of sanity to the spending that is out of control under the current administration.

Jobs are, of course, a high priority for every politician because that sells on the street. Fine, just how do both candidates plan to address that problem?

Come on, guys, let’s have some substance.That includes Bill Grant.His opinion piece was poorly researched, and he made the mistake of implying that the conversation between Vice President Biden and the “seven different Republican senators” had something to do with Rep. Tipton. Maybe they sent the word down to Congress, but don’t color Rep. Tipton with the same crayon as those seven senators.

RUTH A. MAURER

Grand Junction

Suit didn’t aim to limit
military voting rights

The suit filed by the Democratic National Party, The Obama for America Campaign and the Ohio Democratic Party was not seeking to disenfranchise members of the military.

The timeline leading to their action goes like this: After the 2004 election, Ohio allowed early voting for all its citizens. They could cast votes until the Monday before the election. This evidently resulted in a good voter turnout for Obama in 2008. The GOP-controlled state legislature then passed voting laws that moved the deadline to the Friday before Election Day.

The problem was the Absentee Voter Act for uniformed and overseas citizens that provided early voting for military citizens. The secretary of state for Ohio decided that the previous Monday voting deadline would stand for military citizens only, denying early voting to the rest of Ohio’s citizens.

So, the Democrats don’t want the voting period shortened for military but wanted the early voting opportunity extended to all citizens of Ohio. This is clearly stated in their complaint wanting to “restore in-person voting for all Ohioans during the three days prior to Election Day.”

The disenfranchisement of a group of voters is indeed the issue. The least we can do is stand up and protect everyone’s right to vote.

L.M. LORIMOR

Grand Junction

 

Government subsidizes wind- 
turbine slaughter of wildlife

The production tax credit for wind power is set to expire at the end of the year, and the Senate is slated to consider extending it. Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are pushing hard to extend the PTC.

We have subsidized the wind power industry for 30 years, and the industry says quite clearly it would still not survive without subsidies. Where is the common sense? The message is clear. Wind power is not economic. Neither is ethanol and solar power. We should stop subsidizing these industries.

But, it gets worse. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wind turbines kill more than 500,000 birds and bats each year, including bald eagles, golden eagles and whooping cranes.

In 2009, one oil company was fined $600,000 for accidentally killing 85 birds in five states over a period of five years. And, mining companies are all required to go to great lengths to not kill birds or be fined huge sums. Yet, not one single wind-turbine company has been fined $1 for killing thousands per year over the past 30 years. Instead, our government subsidizes the slaughter.

And now it gets even worse. The Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to grant “programmatic take” permits, allowing turbine operators to kill all these birds and bats without fear of penalty. This is totally ridiculous. We, the people, should demand that Udall and Bennet both vote to not extend the tax credit.

If they don’t, and it’s obvious they won’t, they should be voted resoundingly out of office.

LARRY F. BROWN

Palisade

 

Mitt Romney must release 
more of his tax returns

Barack Obama and Joe Biden have released their tax returns for the past 12 years, according to http://www.taxhistory.org.

I think Mitt Romney should release at least five years of his tax history. He has released only two years.

You cannot run for president by boasting how good a businessman you are and not release your tax returns. It does not make sense.

KIM J. CRANE

Grand Junction



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Larry F. Brown’s letter “Government subsidizes wind-turbine slaughter of wildlife” (August 22, 2012) presents a classic conflict between energy and environmental policies.

However, it should be noted that “we have subsidized the wind power industry” only in fits and starts “for 30 years”.  During the periods when those subsidies have been allowed to lapse, our once world-leading wind power technology industry migrated abroad.

Under the expiring subsidy (which provides a 30% tax credit for installed wind turbines),  manufacturers – including Vestas, a Danish company – have returned to “where the wind is”, creating jobs in Iowa, Wyoming, and Colorado (including Mesa County).

Likewise, wind power is fast becoming “economic”.  Two weeks ago, Excel Energy generated an all-time record high percentage of its total electricity output from wind – and expects to double its average percentage output in a year.

Colorado owes much to the foresight of former Democratic Governor Bill Ritter, who persuaded Excel to accede to legislation requiring it to link rural sources of renewable energy to its power grid and to meet graduated production goals.  With the advent of technology that allows it to predict the wind, Excel can now efficiently take coal-fired plants off-line when wind power is sufficient to satisfy the demand for electricity. 

While “wind turbines kill more than 500,000 birds and bats each year”, British scientists found that 5x more birds die annually from encounters with other man-made objects (cars, sky-scrapers, and airplanes).  Nevertheless, bats remain problematic – because air pressure changes caused by rotating turbine blades may interfere with bats’ innate sonar navigation.  More careful site selection for wind turbines could mitigate this problem.

Meanwhile, wind power remains an integral element of the suite of energy alternatives advocated by both Presidential candidates.  Thus, even though real environmental issues remain, the Wind Energy Tax Credit should be extended.

              Bill Hugenberg
              543 Rim Drive
              Grand Junction, CO 81507
                  257-1998

Thursday’s timely editorial – “Stumbling toward the fiscal cliff” – should focus the attention of “every sentient” Sentinel reader on the origins of our impending “fiscal catastrophe”.

While it is refreshing to see Scott Tipton depart from his Tea Party colleagues and join our two stalwart Democratic Senators in calling for “bipartisan” solutions, informed observers can interpret that as his recognition of Republicans’ culpability for the crisis.

Thus, the Sentinel’s endorsement of the Simpson-Bowles “plan” is quite revealing.  After a bipartisan House majority passed legislation establishing a fiscal commission, President Obama endorsed the proposal—but the Senate then rejected the legislation, with six of its Republican co-sponsors voting against their own bill!

President Obama then established the “National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” by executive order and named Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles as its co-chairmen.  The House named Paul Ryan as a member.

When the chairmen confirmed that both “long-term spending cuts and broad tax reform that eliminated most tax loopholes” were under consideration, anti-tax extemist Grover Norquist (whose “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” both Tipton and Ryan signed, thereby by subordinating their oaths of office to ideology) announced that “closing loopholes” were “tax increases” and were therefore “off the table”.

In response, former Senator Simpson (R-WY) observed that not “doing something with the income tax is a fakery”.

The “final report” called for annual discretionary spending cuts of $200 billion, “revenue enhancements” of $100 billion (raising taxes and closing loopholes), retaining the $716 billion Medicare savings under “Obamacare”, cutting some popular subsidies, raising the Social Security income cap, and reducing the corporate tax rate.

With all three House Republicans (including Ryan) voting against these “all or nothing” proposals, the Simpson-Bowles “plan” failed to achieve the super-majority required.

So, when will the Sentinel begin exposing Republican “fakery” and Romney-Ryan lies?

              Bill Hugenberg
              543 Rim Drive
              Grand Junction, CO 81507
Word Count = 300         257-1998

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