Printed Letters: December 2, 2016

Bowie proposed 
gasifier is a pipe dream

While working as a chemical engineer for the world’s largest oil company, I was part of a team that performed a thorough two-year economic evaluation of a gasification project. This $3 billion gasifier would have processed petroleum coke, a material like coal.

It was to be included in a $12 billion joint venture refinery project with a major U.S. refiner. Despite our best efforts, we could not make the economics work. The refinery has since been built without the gasifier.

Gasification of coal, tar sands bitumen, petroleum coke or any fossil fuel material, has high capital and operating costs. It is a far more expensive way to generate power when compared to natural gas, or non-subsidized solar and wind. Gasification, and the subsequent conversion of syn-gas to gasoline or diesel, has been around since WWII and it has never been economical. The low prices of oil, natural gas and alternatives means that gasification will never make money without government handouts (corporate welfare).

We must also have a clear understanding of what is meant by “clean coal.” While it is true that gasification can remove all sulfur, mercury and heavy metals from coal, it does not reduce in any way the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released from the burning of coal in a conventional coal-fired power plant.

Bottom line: The Bowie proposed gasification plant at the idled coalmine near Paonia is an environmental and economic taxpayer boondoggle.


Grand Valley was great place for anniversary getaway

We would like to tell you about an experience we had for our 49th anniversary. We live in Montrose and decided we would spend the day in Grand Junction shopping and stay overnight. We shopped until we were worn out, and then went to a lovely dinner at the Rockslide restaurant. The waitress brought us some cheesecake that was decorated and said “49 years.” It was delicious. Thank you again. When we left the restaurant it was dark outside and we saw the beautiful lights – what a sight. We went back to the Quality Inn down on Horizon Drive and had a great breakfast they serve there. Thank you again, Quality Inn and staff. 


Stop trying to stop those 
protesting roundabout

To the person who wrote the editorial in the Nov. 11 Sentinel about stopping the roundabout protest, I see at least two problems. First, you never did your homework on why the protest was started. You seemed to be hung up on the “inconvenience objection.” Yes, that is a major concern, however, it is definitely not the number one reason. Since this has been in someone’s “think tank” for at least five years, I would assume the developers or proponents had sufficient time to gain public comments, suggestions, and ideas, or, at best, let the public know there were thoughts of working on the intersection. Remember, “we the people.” Get a fact sheet and consider our reasons for the protest.

Next, if you were at the CDOT meeting on Nov. 9, you must not have been listening. CDOT acknowledged having an alternative plan (actually shown at the meeting) that would upgrade traffic lanes, signal lights, and pedestrian/bicycle crossings. It was also suggested by attendees that caution signs/lights be used to slow traffic prior to the intersection. These upgrades came at a cost of $2 million less than the roundabout, plus less construction time. I have heard one person say that it “is a drop in the bucket,” but any way you slice it, it is taxpayer money. Why spend it, if it’s not necessary? This option has been placed on the back burner, if considered at all. The CDOT meetings were held to “tell” us what they planned to do, not ask for input – just another government entity powering over “we the people.” Incidentally, drivers cause most accidents – you cannot prevent all of them, and no, a roundabout is not the only option to reduce accidents. There is not a shortage of “out-to-lunch” or inattentive drivers on the road; maybe IQ tests should be required before issuing a driver’s license.

Meantime, we can all go to bed with “visions of grandiose roundabouts circling in our heads” and wondering what other surprises await us. When the “powers that be” have satisfied their obsession with putting roundabouts in all our intersections, we will be able to rename Grand Junction – Roundabout City.

Grand Junction

Cartoon featuring Three Wise Men was insulting

Your recent cartoon featuring the Three Wise Men was an insult to those of Christian faith. Would you also ridicule atheists or Muslims in this way? The Christmas season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Son of God, sent to live on earth and die on the cross for our sins when he rose again, as all who believe and trust in Him will some day. The three Kings/Wise men came bringing gifts to this very holy Christmas child. You, The Daily Sentinel, need to humble yourselves and apologize to all who believe in a very holy Christmas.



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