Printed letters, May 10, 2013

Dennis Webb’s May 4 article in The Daily Sentinel reported on carcinogenic benzene contaminates found from a natural gas liquid leak into Parachute Creek that exceeded state drinking water standards. Benzene levels exceeded the drinking water standard of 5.0 parts per billion (a more convenient abbreviation is 5.0 ppb).

Previous tests were well below the 5.0 standard, but a recent test found 5.3 ppb. The standard to protect aquatic life in creek water is 1,000 times greater, at 5,300 ppb.

What does 5.3 parts per billion mean? Two analogous examples may help to visualize 5.3 ppb. First, 5.3 ppb of the 12,600-mile flight of a jet plane from the North Pole to the South Pole would be completed when the jet advanced four inches down the runway at takeoff. A second example: Five minutes in 2,000 years is 5.3 ppb.

Benzene is a substance of nature found upon and beneath the surface of our planet. It is found in coal, oil and natural gas deposits and many other places, such as forest fires and volcanoes.

You will often inhale 10 to 15 times the benzene limit for drinking water when you fill your car’s empty gas tank.

Common household products contain chemicals that can cause a multitude of health problems, including allergies, lung damage, birth defects and cancer. Will Parachute Creek’s 5.3 ppb be more dangerous than what’s found under your kitchen sink?


Glenwood Springs

Loosen environmental rules 
to tap our energy resources

Spark plugs in the “green machine” have become fouled; its engine is misfiring and slowing down. Proponents of “human-caused” global warming are, or should be, embarrassed by the fact that for the last 15 years global temperatures have not risen.

Greenies are panicking, blaming “human-caused” global warming for everything from difficult pregnancies to the spread of AIDS. To counter the diminished lack of interest by the public in “human caused” global warming, schoolchildren are being brainwashed into believing this fallacy.

Steven F. Hayward covers the subject in an excellent article in the April 29 issue of The Weekly Standard.

“Climate change” has affected Mother Earth for a million years or more. Luckily, we are not facing another ice age, at least not in the foreseeable future. Modest swings in temperature have been recorded over hundreds of years of Earth’s history.

Unfortunately, the “green machine” enjoys much power through ill-applied authority given by environmental laws, including the Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Rare and Endangered Species Act and volumes of regulations generated by federal agencies, enforcing their ideas as to the intent of each law.

We could be enjoying a much more robust economy if the shackles of environmental legislation were loosened — not removed — but limited to realistic interpretations by bureaucrats. Just think how much cheaper a gallon of gasoline would be if energy development was encouraged instead of being restricted at every step. We should be using our abundant resources and opening up a higher standard of living to all our citizens.




Schwenke’s opinion on bills 
is based on incorrect data

This letter is in reference to a recent op-ed column by Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke: “Western Colorado is counting on governor to protect state’s economy.”

She stated recent legislative bills will cost jobs, tax Western Slope employers and keep business from locating or expanding in Colorado. What a biased and speculative opinion based on no factual data.

Since Schwenke is president of the Chamber of Commerce, a more cooperative spirit in solving problems would be in order. However, anti-regulation, anti-government is the favored approach by the chamber.


Grand Junction


Rachel Sauer soothed sorrow 
in article about bombings

Rachel Sauer’s April 28 article did much to dispel the sorrow caused by the Boston Marathon bombing. It was a masterful blending of science and literature while invoking the divine presence behind it all.

She quoted a medieval writer, Giovanni Giocondo (1513), who said, “The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see it, and to see, we only have to look. … Life is so full of meaning and of purpose – that you will find that earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage, then, to claim it, that is all!”

Sauer also quoted British poet Rupert Brooke, who wrote on the eve of World War I, “We have found safety with all things underlying. The winds and morning tears of men and mirth the night, and hills singing and clouds flying. And sleep and freedom, and the autumnal earth. We have built a house that is not for Time’s throwing. We have gained a peace unshaken by pain forever.”

Thanks, Rachel, for being an inspiration to us all.


Grand Junction


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Floyd minimizes a real danger and, yes, common household chemicals can be dangerous. They have labels telling the proper use and disposal. Benzene is no longer one of them. Its use in gasoline is for an anti-knock compound and is restricted to 1% and not commonly used. Most people wisely don’t hover over their gas tank during filling. Respiration is a special case as the body can quickly rid itself, but continued breathing can do you in like the case of Jose Lara in Rifle. Flyodd is a prepetuator of the O&G propaganda saying how many bad things you have in your house. But you are not unsuspectingly drinking the crap as you would with benzene in the water supply. Ask old Ned Prather about that. With flyodd, he is in it for his commercial construction holdings and like the old Lil’ Abner character capitalist Bullmoose - “What’s good for Bullmoose, is good for the country!” Now take his examples of polar flying - would you do the few feet of runway for a cancerous liver or is 5 minutes of 2000 years worth a pancreatic cancer? Because that is what this junk does - by bona fide health study it increases the odds for you to get that stuff. As far as benzene being a product of nature, yes it is and so is arsenic, cyanide gas, carnotite yellow uranium ore, hydrogen sulfide, and others that have the ability to kill or create lingering death. Nature has a lot of goodies like that, but people don’t suck up and knowingly get involved with them.

It’s incomprehensible to me that anyone would speak up in defense of benzene in our groundwater and streams!

It is called greed!  If people don’t choke on fouled, tainted water then they can choke on dollar bills and compare it to harmful chemicals.  All people with common sense can hope for is they don’t get a chance to spend it before paying their medical bills!

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