Printed letters, July 20, 2012
As a member of one of the organizations state Rep. Ray Scott denounced for having instigated Judge Marcia Krieger’s decision, I have to respond to his op-ed piece of July 8.
Claiming a need for natural gas and the jobs that drilling for the resource will produce, Rep. Scott insisted that the Roan Plateau be opened to drilling for gas immediately. Does he not know that drilling for gas is cyclical and subject to supply and demand? Is he unaware that private lands on the plateau are already being drilled? There is no such urgency.
The Bureau of Land Management’s plan for the plateau inadequately protects its many other, non-mineral resources. These include deer and elk herds that are important to the economically significant hunting and outdoor industries in the area. The plateau is one of the top four places in the state for biological diversity, and it is home to a pure strain of Colorado River Cutthroat trout — a trout that occupies only about 10 percent of its original habitat. My chapter of Trout Unlimited has been working (with money and physical labor) for more than 20 years to protect a population of those trout on the plateau.
Drilling near the streams that these rare fish inhabit would certainly put them at risk. Judge Krieger’s decision requires the agency to revisit its plan in order to give more protection to these other resources.
Scott’s demand would despoil the plateau as unrestrained drilling has done in parts of Wyoming. BLM’s plan would allow a company to drill 3,000 wells atop the plateau, and that’s what the company plans to do. Regardless of the best-management practices used, drilling that many wells would fundamentally change the Roan Plateau. This is acknowledged in BLM internal memoranda and buried in the environmental impact statement.
Judge Krieger observed that local community input was largely ignored by BLM. Her decision provides an opportunity for BLM and Colorado communities and concerned organizations to get it right.
We look forward to a plan for the Roan Plateau that does not further jeopardize or harm its special features, even as it makes meaningful amounts of the area’s minerals available for careful development.
John Leane’s economic plan shows he’s a liberal Democrat
John Leane’s “three-point plan,” as reported on June 29 in The Daily Sentinel, leaves little doubt in my mind as to what he is — a liberal Democrat. He may be running for county commissioner as an “unaffiliated,” but his economic plan gives him away.
Part of his three-point plan is to give $50 to $5,000 rewards to small businesses who hire four new full-time employees. Huh? Do the math. Does Leane have a clue what it costs to hire a full-time employee?
Most businesses are still struggling under today’s economy and, with the unknown impacts of Obamacare, are reluctant to hire. I don’t think there will be many jumping for this carrot.
What Mesa County businesses need is greater local control. Get the federal government out of our way, and let us develop our abundant energy resources. Leane’s plan doesn’t utter a peep on this subject.
His next big idea is to boost tourism with $50,000-something for the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau. Thanks a bunch!
Gov. John Hickenlooper and his buds on the Front Range are already singing this song. Their plan — make western Colorado their playground with plenty of maids and busboys. Then maybe they can get their hands on more of our water. Brilliant!
The final element in his plan is to create a part-time position of “business and development coordinator.” Is anyone seeing a pattern here?
He wants to throw around money we don’t have and increase the size of government. Personally, I’m not buying his “middle of the road” fairy tale. He never mentions keeping taxes low as an incentive to growth and development.
He can call himself “unaffiliated” all day, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a big “D” Democrat.
CHARLES L. GREEN
Consumer choice on health leads to greater competition
I was pleased to read the Tom Purcell column in Friday’s Daily Sentinel regarding the Affordable Care Act and HSAs. Purcell points out the positive aspects of a high deductible health insurance policy coupled with an HSA (health savings account).
As he states, when consumers choose their health care products based on cost, a competitive nature is brought to the marketplace. Less expensive products are purchased and unneeded products tend to be avoided.
It should be noted that when consumers are paying the bill directly, not only will they make good decisions about the services they need, but they also tend to make better long-range decisions, employing exercise and better diet.
This in turn will result in a reduced amount of health care needed for individuals and a further reduction in cost.