Printed letters, November 11, 2012
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has proposed standards to allow drilling and fracking operations to co-exist with Colorado communities.
Once adopted, these standards will likely be in place for a long time, so it is prudent to make the standards tougher now and relax them later, if future findings indicate a need.
I read recently that in drilling-friendly Texas, the industry and private landowners go to great lengths to accommodate one another while stressing public health and safety. Let’s be sure we do the same thing here in Colorado.
A few examples of the more protective public-suggested versions of COGCC rules that I support are:
✓ The rig setback from homes should be increased from the current 350 feet to 1,200 feet in all urban and suburban locations. Current setbacks are the length of a football field, including the end zones. Allowing exceptions when a property owner provides informed consent is a way to offer flexibility.
✓ When proposing to develop a new area, notification to property owners should extend not to the 1,200 feet radius from the site that COGCC proposes, but to a more inclusive 2,000 feet. Within this range there should be well-defined provisions for emergency response and transportation plans.
✓ Comments by “local property owners” should carry more weight in testimony, agreement or protest than others who are not within the direct range of impact.
✓ Schools, hospitals, jails and other high-occupancy buildings, which may not have direct property owner input, should automatically be afforded a higher level of safety than the minimum. COGCC proposes a 750-foot separation between structures and a well site. However, 1,500 feet seems a more community-conscious distance to protect our children, the sick or others who have no choice in their location selection.
I have read that the oil and gas companies currently don’t pay a fee to obtain a state drilling permit on non-federal land. With more than 47,000 active wells in Colorado, it seems the state may be missing a source of basic revenue that could be used to hire permitting staff and provide more than the current 17 COGCC inspectors statewide. It might also afford start-up and then periodic onsite inspections.
DOUG VAN ETTEN
This election demonstrated Fox News is losing influence
Is Fox News becoming irrelevant? It doesn’t seem to have influenced the last two presidential elections, and Democrats actually picked up seats in the U.S. Senate and House in this election.
But despite this, it is still the most watched cable news network out there. This is probably because all the conservatives watch Fox, while the libs split among CNN, PBS and MSNBC.
Fox basically only appeals to the white population, a majority of which voted for Romney. But Fox doesn’t seem to have a pulse of what is going on with the demographics of the rest of the American electorate. And it also has conservative pundits such as Dick Morris, Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich, who were wildly inaccurate about predicting the results of this presidential election.
Karl Rove, in particular, made a complete fool of himself election night, questioning every news organization’s call, including Fox News, to give Ohio to Obama. MSNBC, on the other hand, was extremely accurate in saying that the election was going to be close and that the race was leaning toward Obama.
What kind of influence can Fox really have if it is only appealing to a demographic that is steadily decreasing in size? And what is its believability factor when its pundits come off as buffoons?
Fox News, like the Republican Party, will have to soon wake up and smell the coffee lest it becomes ordinary background chatter in America’s political conversation.
Nation now en route to an untimely death
Nov. 6, 2012, was the day America died. I have never been so disappointed in the American people as I am today — to put President Barack Obama back in office after he has done nothing for jobs, nothing on foreign policy and just lied about Benghazi and the death of four Americans on his watch.
All who think they are going to get something free should think again. Obamacare will break most of us, as the pricing for medical care will go up.
Gas will continue to rise and the division of rich from poor will break America in half. I have never been so ashamed of my country before. We now have a new party and it should be called Democratic Communism, as this is the road we are on. May God help us all.
SuperPACs pumped dollars with negligible election effect
A big thank-you to Karl Rove and his American Crossroads superPAC for taking $400 million out of the bank accounts of the super rich and returning it to the American economy by buying negative advertising (including the billboards that we saw here in Grand Junction) that had no noticeable effect on the election.