Printed letters, February 16, 2014
Regulations for stricter control and monitoring of emissions from gas and oil operations, to be considered beginning Wednesday by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, deserve the support of all Western Slope residents who want economic prosperity, as well as a healthy environment.
Keep in mind the pollutants trapped by the recurring inversions we have experienced in Mesa County and elsewhere on the Western Slope. Smog and dirty air deter desirable businesses from locating here. Failure to control emissions now will leave little margin within permissible limits set by existing state and federal standards for further industrial development of any kind.
Thus, any businesses and chambers of commerce (not to mention county commissioners and our civic leaders) interested in the growth and economic prosperity of the Western Slope should be in the vanguard of those advocating effective air quality protection and the adoption of the proposed stricter emission controls.
So, the proposed regulations approved both by major energy companies and environmental organizations make sense and should be adopted. Continued oil and gas development, such as the 108-well project in the works near Whitewater, without the proposed regulations could needlessly foul the air and dim the quality of life and the economy of western Colorado.
Cars, burning of fields cause much of valley’s polluted air
I must respond to Jerry Nelson’s letter about the main causes of our poor winter air quality in the Grand Valley.
Having grown up in the Los Angeles Basin during the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, I am very familiar with smog caused by ozone reacting with sunlight. Automobiles mostly caused the smog.
Very few oil and gas wells are here in the Grand Valley. Most of the poor air is caused by people driving or people burning fields and tree and grass cuttings, coupled with the inversion.
If one drives from Grand Junction on a bad air day toward Parachute and Rifle, he or she will see the air quality is just great. Many oil and gas wells are in this area, but the air is fine.
Justman seeks to remain neutral in county race
On Feb. 7, Mesa County Commissioner John Justman and his wife, Frances, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I worked with the Justmans coordinating their event. The party was by invitation only for family and friends.
We made the difficult decision to omit all the announced candidates for the open county commissioner seat. Justman feels that it is important to remain neutral, especially prior to a primary.
That said, it was very upsetting when Scott McInnis arrived uninvited at the party. His presence made the Justmans uncomfortable. When he arrived, I approached him and explained why he hadn’t been invited and that I hoped he understood. He said he did.
Rather than exiting, however, he continued to “work the room” for another 45 minutes until I appealed to his sense of good manners. Obviously, McInnis was unwilling to let proper etiquette get in the way of a campaign opportunity.
It is important that all voters know Justman remains neutral in the race for the commissioner seat being vacated by Steve Acquafresca. McInnis’ presence at the Justmans’ private anniversary celebration in no way signals favoritism toward or endorsement of McInnis.