Printed letters, August 8, 2013
The environmentalists and other special-interest groups are trying to influence people through hearsay and fear tactics.
According to a federal study on hydraulic fracturing, there is no evidence that chemicals from the drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers.
The president’s recently appointed EPA director stated, “In no case have we made a definitive determination that the fracturing process has caused chemicals to enter groundwater.”
According to a study done by Duke University, drilling fluids were injected more than 8,000 feet below the surface, but were not detected at a depth of 5,000 feet. The potentially dangerous substance stayed about a mile away from surface drinking water.
Maybe some people don’t know Colorado has some of the most stringent safety regulations governing gas and oil drilling in the nation. Let’s trust them.
The North Fork Alternative Plan is not a plan to protect us from potential harm. It is a plan to completely shut down any possible drilling in our area. Since there are no facts to sustain this perceived harm, wouldn’t it be better to consider how drilling provides good-paying jobs and benefits our economies?
I would like to encourage people to get the facts rather than making decisions based on fear and rumor.
Fram’s drilling plans may affect air quality
I’m writing in response to The Daily Sentinel’s recent article about the Whitewater drilling project initiated by Fram Operating. Let me compliment the Sentinel for a thorough, informative and comprehensive article. Your reporter did his homework, presenting concerns from many different stakeholders on this issue. However, one factor is not being adequately addressed.
Many people are concerned about fracking and about water pollution, and their concerns are receiving a great deal of attention. What has not received enough attention is the effect this proposed project will have on our air quality.
Having lived in Denver during decades of “the brown cloud,” and then through 11 years of Southern California ozone-alert days, I hoped for better when we moved here 13 years ago. Instead, the local air quality seems to have steadily declined. Month-long temperature inversions in the past two winters have increased the problem.
“Natural factors” — such as blowing dust, fireplaces, agricultural burning and mountain wildfires — already cause the average level of particulate matter in our air to hover just below national air quality standards. In January and February, we violated those standards on 11 days. Monitored ozone levels are also nearing NAAQS limits.
Drilling, particularly in winter, will only exacerbate our air-quality problems. The diesel pumps and engines used at drill sites can pump high levels of pollution into the air, causing both particulate and ozone levels to rise. Travel to and from well sites on C Road south of Palisade, is “proposed for use in winter months,” with projections of up to 31 round-trips a day. In a 10-hour work day, that’s one truck every 20 minutes! The result — more vehicle emissions and dust.
The resulting effects on our air, over a 20-year span, can be disastrous for our local economy, our health and the quality of our lives.
NANCY S. ANGLE
Common Core assessment ignores individual needs
I attended a meeting July 31 in which representatives of the Colorado Department of Education presented Common Core to the Delta County school board. Common Core is a top-down (fed-to-state-to-local school board) bureaucratic structure that eliminates teacher recommendations and experience with each individual child and replaces that with a top-down assessment process.
School Board Member Kathy Svenson pointed out that, in today’s world of computers and the Internet, education should and can be tailored to each individual student. Common Core bucks the future.
School Board Member Pete Blair lamented that parents are not involved in the education process. As a registered volunteer and part of a host family for an exchange student from Poland, I pointed out after the meeting that parents are not empowered and are even discouraged from participation, starting with the prohibition of any public comment at school board meetings.
I contrasted a public school with a church-sponsored school in which members are actually sought out to participate with building funding and maintenance, food preparation and individual tutoring for students who might be falling behind.
Every student is not the same. Svenson pointed out that some students will go on to college and some will enter the workforce right out of high school, and the education process needs to be diverse enough to support both academic and trade outcomes.
To be fair, the state presenters said that Common Core was a floor, not a ceiling, but there can be no doubt that it is a top-down structure.
MIT now has most of its undergraduate and graduate courses available for free online. The future is moving to individualized instruction tailored to each student. I hope Delta County can move in that direction. I want to thank board member Svenson for her leadership in that direction.