Printed letters, June 5, 2013

Regarding the article in the May 29 Daily Sentinel about how the environmentalists are again threatening to sue the BLM over oil shale, I say: Really?

These fringe extremists have already hijacked public policy and the legal process, and they have essentially eviscerated a promising industry with their first ridiculous lawsuit. Now they are back to take another swipe at the people of rural, northwest Colorado?

This same East Coast-backed consortium of professional lobbyists and lawyers first leveled a lawsuit several years ago — financed by those of us who work at honest jobs for a living and pay taxes through the overly abused Equal Access to Justice Act — because a well-developed plan for the management of oil shale didn’t fit with their kindergarten-level understanding of economics, science, ecology and what energy policy ought to be.

Unfortunately for the people of the United States, especially the middle-class families and small business owners of the Western Slope of Colorado, the Interior Department, formerly headed by President Obama’s hatchet man Ken Salazar, dutifully obeyed and wasted millions more of our dollars in cooking up a justification to eliminate 90 percent of the best oil shale land in Colorado from development.

Now, it has worked with the same special interest groups to rewrite the rules to make leasing of even the few remaining scattered acres virtually impossible.

And yet, even this is not good enough for the Sierra Club’s fat-cat financial backers and their hapless local pawn groups, as they have decided to find yet something else to sue the BLM over regarding oil shale — using, again, our money to do so.

With the sequester causing apparently so much damage, wouldn’t our tax dollars be better spent on something other than paying special interest lawyers to cripple an industry that could potentially create hundreds of jobs and millions in revenue?

MARJORIE HAUN

Grand Junction

‘Chicago-style’ politics give
government too much clout

President Obama is the product of Chicago-style politics, where, as in love and war, aggressive attacks are expected. The president, in a State of the Union address several years ago, went so far as to attack the Supreme Court justices as they sat in front of him for their support of political free speech in their Citizens United decision.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that IRS targeted the organizations protected by this decision.

We have a local connection, too. Sen. Udall, as did other Democratic senators, wrote a letter to the IRS asking them to target these groups. Why blame the IRS? They simply heard their marching orders.

Chicago-style politics are generally legal, but when you enlist the help of the IRS to intimidate your political opponents, you have gone too far. It is illegal.

It has happened before, most notably under President Richard Nixon. Nixon attacked a few political enemies, not a broad segment of our society, as in this case. Government employees, through their unions, protect the politicians who protect them. The IRS has a union that provides funding primarily to Democrat candidates. The last thing the IRS wants is tax reform.

The IRS is the poster child for the danger of giving too much power to government. The IRS is now being given additional power to enforce Obamacare, another morass of regulation nobody can understand. Nobody can understand tax code or Obamacare, which is why this leaves us wide open to abuse by the IRS.

DAVE KEARSLEY

Mesa



COMMENTS

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As usual, perpetual Republican apologist Dave Kearsley’s opinions are based on utter falsehoods.

First, President Barack Obama is NOT “the product of Chicago-style politics” – which refers to the tactics of the political machine dominated by Mayor Richard C. Daley and which ended some 25 years ago.  Rather, as Dave’s failed VP choice Sarah Palin noted, Obama was a “community organizer” – the antithesis of “Chicago-style politics”.

Second, President Obama did not “attack the Supreme Court justices . . . for their support of free speech in their Citizens United decision”, but – as a constitutional law professor – criticized the decision for relying on dubious legal precedent to equate money (a form of property) with “speech” and naively minimizing the adverse consequences of allowing unlimited anonymous personal and corporate contributions to dominate our elections.

Third, the IRS did not “target the organizations protected by this decision”, but rather ineptly flagged groups that – based on organizational names – appeared to be abusing the Tax Code by claiming tax-exempt status to which they were not entitled.  Such dubious applications proliferated after Citizens United because 501(c)(4) status allowed these purportedly “grassroots” groups to conceal corporate sources of their financial support.

Fourth, the reported “abuses” occurred under the leadership of the Bush-appointed IRS Commissioner (who then retired) – suggesting the unlikely conspiracy theory that the IRS brouhaha is a delayed Republican effort to embarrass the Obama Administration.  In any case, Republicans constitute the direct link to Nixon’s actual partisan abuse of the IRS.

In sum, the phrase “Chicago-style politics” is no more relevant to President Obama than “death panels” was to ObamaCare.  Rather, like fellow-Republican Darrell Issa, Kearsley is engaging in the vilest form of “McCarthyism” – relying solely on pathological lies and pathetic innuendoes to avoid confronting serious public policy issues, while deliberately sabotaging the efforts of those who are.

Dearest Marjorie,
I know you “claim” to be a Republican, so I will assume you understand fiscal responsibility and market pressures.  Oil shale, is dead not because of “fringe extremists” but because fossil fuels are QUICKLY moving into past and investors are smart enough to understand that to put money into a corporate welfare business is poor investing. Coal is scrambling to find markets and is losing ground to natural gas…market pressures not “fringe extremists.” You made a mistake when you followed Craig Meis in his attempt to push oil shale and encouraged others to invest.  I hope you didn’t lose too much.  But I am glad to see that you are a member of the Sierra Club. In the second to last paragraph of your letter you revealed that you too, are a “fringe extremist.”  If you want more information regarding the concept of market pressures and energy financing, let me know, and we can go to coffee so I can teach you.

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