Printed Letters: November 17, 2016
Higher royalties results in local revenues
The Bureau of Land Management oversees the production of oil and natural gas on federal lands. These lands and the minerals they contain are owned by all Americans.
A portion of the money generated by the sale of federal oil and gas is returned to taxpayers in the form of royalty payments to the federal government, states and local communities. That money supports local schools, fire departments and the construction of roads and bridges.
Currently, a significant portion of the gas produced is wasted when it is vented to the atmosphere or burned at the well site. In fact, 200,000 metric tons of methane — the primary component of natural gas — were released from public lands between 2009 and 2014. If captured and sold, that gas would have generated $330 million per year.
Luckily, the BLM decided to resolve this issue and finalized a new rule on Tuesday that will limit methane waste. The requirements, if fully implemented, will keep gas in the pipeline, increasing the amount of money returned to local communities. A fair return to taxpayers means a better quality of life here on the Western Slope. We can use that revenue for many great things, like putting it toward our schools and infrastructure.
When you drive around Mesa County you’ll see numerous roads, buildings and sidewalks in need of repair. Our schools in District 51 are in desperate need of funding, as we rate average to below average compared to other school districts across the state. With the amount of money oil and gas companies make off of the resources extracted from our public lands, it is only right that our county benefits during the process.
As many of us know living in Mesa County, the impacts of the oil patch’s unpredictable boom and bust cycles are always felt on our local economy. Ensuring a fair return to taxpayers from royalties is simply smart for our community’s financial health now and into the future. The BLM methane rule provides insurance that our resources aren’t taken for next to nothing.
Protestors should know that Trump won fair and square
Eileen O’Toole (“We really need to talk about bigotry in the open”) takes issue with the notion that conservatives accepted the results of the last eight years. Well, since that election eight years ago was legal, we had to. But she goes on to denigrate “massive numbers of bigots disrupting everything both inside and outside the government.”
Wow! Just how did the country exist with all that massive “disruption?” She also said “...the Koch Brothers now own our government….” I guess I missed that sale. Further on in her letter she alleges, “white power rhetoric is even more disturbing now.” That eruption of “white power” is another event I have not noticed. She goes on to urge “upset protestors start planning for the next vote in two years and the one in four years.”
First off, these “protestors” should try to remember their civics course, if they ever took one. If not, then read the Constitution and research why we have an Electoral College. President-elect Trump won fair and square.
Oh, and by the way, “bigot” is defined by Webster as “A person who holds blindly and intolerantly to a particular creed or opinion.” That works both ways, be it a liberal or a conservative.
Redlands roundabout is unwanted and unwarranted
Many hundreds of taxpayers feel the proposed Redlands roundabout is unwanted, unwarranted, and unworkable.
At the “open house” regarding same, the engineers’ attitude was a tad patronizing and 100 percent evasive. Mike Curtis and Zane Znamenacek refused to admit the project is a done deal, and the mayor would not respond. (I guess our petition in opposition is being used for toilet paper.) Todd Hollenbeck alone had the guts to be truthful.
Our intersection bears no resemblance to the other roundabouts presented as examples of success. Without traffic lights, vehicles from dozens of side streets feeding onto Highway 340 will be unable to join the steady stream of which the engineers are so enamored.
Yes, the intersection can be made better, but this roundabout is like bringing an elephant gun to a mosquito problem. Someone should go back to the drawing board.
Reducing speed limits at intersection may be solution
The editorial defending the Redlands roundabout spouts a lot of numbers, statistics, and predictions calling this a public safety issue. I, and many Redlands residents, feel that simply reducing the speed limit on the approaches would mitigate any safety issue without impacting traffic flow, and, as you have pointed out, free several million dollars up for a higher priority project elsewhere, of which there are many.
The inconvenience of construction has never been the main bone of contention. A lot of the population of the Redlands and users of the intersection believe that if there is nothing to repair, don’t repair it (and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!).