Printed letters, January 15, 2013

Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown is right: The resolution passed by his colleagues on oil shale offended us on the Western Slope.

As both Brown and Sen. Steve King have pointed out in op-eds on the resolution, water issues have been worked out over many years of negotiations and agreements, and they are matters decided by the rule of law, not the whims of a big-city council.

I find the arrogance of some Denver Council members frankly appalling. If they have a particular vision for their city, that is their business. But to tell another jurisdiction how it should or shouldn’t run its economy is well outside their bounds. I am as fed up with Denver liberals trying to impose their version of how things ought to be as I am with the sense of entitlement they seem to have over our water.

Brown was also correct in his assessment of oil shale. Our oil shale industry has approached issues of water rights, supply and quality responsibly and legally, and it will use a very tiny percentage of Colorado’s water.

Brown pointed out that agriculture uses far more water, suggesting, tongue-in-cheek, that maybe the Denver City Council will issue a resolution against farming. My first thought was, that was as unlikely as its proclaiming against ski resorts, which also use water, given how much Denverites like to eat and ski.

On the other hand, they enjoy the fruits of the energy industry, too, yet seem to have no problem issuing proclamations against its development. Maybe Brown should be cautious about giving his council-mates ideas.


Grand Junction

Public should know names 
of those denied firearms

It is interesting that in the state of New York, a newspaper has published the names and addresses of people given permission by the state to purchase firearms. Apparently they have the right to do so under the Freedom of Information Act.

I was wondering if it might be more important and meaningful if they publish the names and address of people who were denied permission to purchase firearms — and the reasons why.


Grand Junction


King’s costly DUI bill 
relies on disputed data

The Daily Sentinel editorial urging passage of Sen. Steve King’s marijuana DUI bill seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to a lack of facts. The statement about putting pot users on notice that our “state is serious about stopping people from driving while high” is laughable.

King’s bill is prohibitively expensive. He and his cosponsor, former prosecutor Mark Waller, watered it down because they haven’t proved the bill’s level for being under the influence is impairment in all cases.

In Charles Ashby’s article, “Watered-down stoned driving bill irks King,” the senator stated, “I strongly believe that there is plenty of science there that says 5 nanograms is a good standard.” I strongly believe there is just as much science that says it’s not. It couldn’t pass until last year, when no public input was allowed. It’s easy to prove pseudo facts when no questions are addressed.

Waller said he has a sneaking suspicion the number of medical marijuana patients is going to drop drastically. Well, duh. Pay more than $100 for a doctor’s recommendation and a license placed in state records? His view doesn’t change the facts that illnesses and pain still remain and this law will inhibit medical marijuana patients.

It’s not more important now. The current law is enforced similar to that for alcohol. If you’re driving erratically and have THC in your system, you’re guilty. The very fact the bill allows a “rebuttable inference” shows questionable integrity. It also shows the sponsors are only open to victims proving their innocence if they can afford it. Guilty until proven innocent.

One way to stop innocence is to make it too costly to prove. It seems ridiculous, becasue a roadside sobriety test should still be used, as with alcohol. It’s a time-proven test that works.




Too many citizens look 
to government for salvation

Sigmund Freud said in 1932, when someone insists that mere possession of a gun would compel the owner to use it, that insistence says much about the one talking and almost nothing about the one being spoken of.

The Second Amendment says all that needs to be said. But James Madison, who introduced the amendment in 1789, did write in the Federalist Papers that what set America apart from most nations in Europe is that our government was not afraid of an armed citizenry.

First our elected officials set up a standing army, contrary to the Founders’ wisdom. Now they insist the people are not to be trusted and the Second Amendment must be infringed upon.

When we were governed by God, we had no need for threat of force or for ever-increasing government regulation and threat of the bayonet.

Now we are no longer that nation of freemen. Too many have chosen to make the government their god and their salvation. We have traded our liberties for the mere promise of a little temporary security — and deserve neither liberty nor security.




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Sean Hunt really misses the point of water and uses. He uses ski areas and agriculture as examples of great usage. Yes, these businesses use water, BUT in a way totally different than oil shale! Their use results in water returning to the hydrological cycle. BUT industrial uses of water use it to be a solvent or carrier. The water becomes polluted and dangerous and industry figures it to be too expensive to reclaim it effectively. That “small percentage” becomes a BIG percentage as the years accumulate the total amount of water rendered to brine, laden with metals, chemicals, radioactivity and toxins. If Sean would go to the USGS web site, , he would see that the actual amount of water. “”...This picture shows the size of a sphere that would contain all of Earth’s water in comparison to the size of the Earth. The blue sphere sitting on the United States, reaching from about Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kansas, has a diameter of about 860 miles (about 1,385 kms), with a volume of about 332,500,000 cubic miles (1,386,000,000 cubic kms). The sphere includes all the water in the oceans, seas, ice caps, lakes and rivers as well as groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your tomato plant…”

The end result is industries using water in the manner of the oil shale industry ends up coating the upper surface of the earth with residues of pollution from deep formations of the past and accumulating it in the present. Much like the poisoning and destruction of the atmosphere that was done with tetraethyl lead in gasoline and the early Freon of refrigeration (both developed by the same guy – Thomas Midgley ).
Well, Sean, your convenience of today does not justify the screwing up of the future.

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