Printed letters, February 27, 2013

For whatever reason, Bill Grant can’t seem to help but write columns on topics that he knows little about.

Last week he decided to cherry pick from a Salt Lake City Tribune article which informed readers that Enefit, the Estonian-based oil shale company that is starting an operation in Utah, recently conducted initial tests that showed Utah oil shale doesn’t retort exactly the same as Estonian oil shale.

Geologists will tell you that samples taken from different geographical locations will have slight, but important, property differences and that therefore processes for handling or developing them may require adjustments. This is why processes are tested.

To Grant, though, this is not representative of a common and prudent business practice. This is the “smoking gun” that declares that oil shale in the United States will never, ever be developed.

While Enefit’s scientists and engineers take and analyze the information they gather, make whatever modifications they need to and prepare to retest in advance of opening their facility in a few years’ time, Grant is employing his own years of expertise in geology and petro-physics (which consists mainly of jumping up and down in front of his word processor screaming, “No! No! No!” at any mention of oil or natural gas) to explain to readers that it’s all just a big conspiracy. All those scientists, engineers, accountants and analysts are clearly wrong, and oil shale can only be produced in countries that don’t start with the initials U.S.

When it comes to oil shale, I think I’ll trust the petroleum engineers and economic analysts before I trust a guy who seems to spend most of his time praying to Al Gore that oil would just disappear.

JAMISON PEREZ

Grand Junction

Oil giant Saudi Arabia 
invests in green energy

While The Daily Sentinel was singing the praises of fossil fuel on the front page Feb. 23, the Saudis were busy pursuing renewable energy — big time.

That’s right, in one of the largest oil producers in the world, the national oil company of a country almost entirely driven by fossil-fuel production is pouring billions into solar and wind power.

While the Western Slope keeps beating that dead oil shale horse, insisting that this time it’s real, the Saudis are moving forward with plans to install 54 gigawatts of solar and wind power by 2032.

While the Western Slope seems to reject and ignore the abundant solar and wind sources we have available here, the powers-that-be locally insist that dirty, high-carbon, environmentally devastating, water wasting, natural gas wasting oil shale is the way to go. This time it’s real.

The Western Slope could potentially be a hub of renewable energy, with our abundant solar and wind resources ripe for the taking. Instead, our leaders insist that ripping up our beautiful landscapes that generate billions each year in recreational revenues in search of that elusive oil shale boom is the way to go.

Meanwhile, a country full of easy-to-produce, cheap, conventional oil is blazing a trail toward renewal energy.

Who’s going to come out ahead in the long run?

THOMAS PHILLIPS

Palisade

 

Brady Trucking deserves 
voter support for Measure A

Whitewater Building Materials is a third-generation, family-owned business since 1948 and is in the south downtown area, not far from Brady Trucking. Along with other businesses and the community, our business has been an integral part of the development of the Audubon Section of the Riverfront Trail and other sections, as well.

If not for these contributions of land, easements, labor and materials to the Riverfront Trail, there may not have been a Riverfront Trail system to enjoy today. So, imagine our dismay when we see how Brady Trucking’s growth has been stymied when it, too, is willing to be a part of this big and grand idea of a Riverfront Trail system for the entire community.

When Brady bought its land, it was not pristine open space, as some would lead you to believe. It included an old rendering plant that required thousands of dollars to clean up.

Brady’s development plan for the property includes not only the easement for the trail but also a buffer and fencing.

Looking at our existing trail and other trail systems outside our area, one realizes they often go through residential, commercial and, yes, industrial property. They go through open space, beside and under major highways, through reclaimed mine sites and beside existing mine sites.

Measure A is about property rights and responsible development, not about trails and parks versus industry. Both can coexist. That was the original dream for our trail system. It has taken all of us to build the Riverfront Trail, and we have done it with cooperation.

Don’t let intolerance by a few ruin what we have. Vote yes on Referred Measure A.

MARK GARDNER

Grand Junction



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