Printed letters, November 13, 2013
I see that the EPA held a “listening session” in Denver this past week to gather input regarding carbon pollution standards for existing power plants.
Any regulations they come up with are sure to cripple the economies of our coal-mining areas, such as Delta and Craig, and raise utility costs for the rest of us.
Western Colorado has some of the naturally cleanest coal in the world. It makes no sense for this industry to be killed, when coal is, and for the foreseeable future will be, used for the production of at least 40 percent of our electricity.
While natural gas is a workable option for a generation, it cannot carry the load itself. There are too many obstacles to nuclear power – we haven’t built a new nuclear plant in this country in more than 30 years – and hydro is not available everywhere.
Solar and wind will only ever contribute a very small percentage of overall electrical generation, despite mandates attempting to dictate otherwise. The reason is simple: Solar and wind are intermittent resources that cannot be stored. Therefore, they will always be more expensive and simply incapable of maintaining the level of electrical generation necessary to operate the grid.
It makes far more sense to promote our local clean-coal industry than to saddle it with unreasonable regulations that will only cost jobs and raise the power bills for families and small businesses.
EPA should limit involvement in policing carbon pollution
Last week, the EPA made a stop in Denver to elicit comments on how it should proceed with regulating carbon pollution from existing power plants. I was pleased to see that a strong contingent from the West Slope made it over to let them know how vital coal is to the economy of the region, and how clean the air in Craig is, with its coal-fired power plant, especially compared to places like Denver.
The EPA should limit its involvement and allow the states to come up with their own approaches to energy development, especially in places like Colorado. Since it is without large-scale hydropower or nuclear plants, around 40 percent of electricity comes from coal. Solar and wind, the sources that the EPA and its allies presumably think should replace coal, only account for about 4 percent of total U.S. generation, according to the Energy Information Agency.
And, at any rate, U.S. total coal production and use only accounts for about 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
So, are we really prepared to kill hundreds of jobs, and entire small rural communities, in order to promote energy sources that cannot even currently contribute 5 percent to the grid, all to possibly make a dent in 3 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas production? Where is the sense in that?
Establishing artificial “renewable” energy standards, as the EPA seems intent on doing, will solve nothing, but will create tremendous problems for the economy, regionally and nationally.
My message to the EPA is: Let us handle our own affairs. Chances are that we will still reduce pollution, but we can do it in a way that makes sense and does not cripple the economy for no good reason.
Not all shooting enthusiasts leave litter on public lands
I found the front-page article in Sunday’s Sentinel, regarding trash dumping on BLM land, depressing. This problem is not limited to the Grand Junction area. We have the problem here in Delta County, as well.
A perfect spot exists in the ‘dobies outside of Delta, where there is a free, safe shooting range. Unfortunately, certain people use it to dump their garbage, to target practice on old TV sets and appliances and to litter the ground with empty shot shells and cartridge cases. As a shooting-sports enthusiast, I am appalled that my fellow shooters leave such a dismal mess behind.
Please know that not all shooting-sports enthusiasts are so irresponsible. I make it my practice to police all of my brass and shotshells and to use paper targets on proper stands, which I use and then take away when I am finished. The vast majority of my fellow shooters do the same.
I have also made it my practice to remove as much junk as I can load in my pickup and take it to the dump after each visit. The task is overwhelming, though. Unfortunately, one person cannot make much of a dent in the problem. Our local Boy Scout troop also periodically cleans up this area, but again, the task is daunting.
I wonder if these inconsiderate people know they tarnish the reputation of all shooting enthusiasts. Are they the first to complain when the BLM proposes restrictions on access to BLM land?
As a responsible shooting enthusiast, I apologize for the inexcusable actions of this minority of scofflaws. I ask the public to try to remember that most of us respect the land and decry the irresponsible actions of this disrespectful minority. I call on those who abuse public land to clean up their act and respect the land — or risk losing all access to it.
I also applaud the Western Slope ATV Association for its efforts to clean up our public lands.