Printed letters April 27, 2011

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce has gone on record as requesting that the Western Slope remain essentially intact in the current redistricting effort.

We believe, as was stated in The Daily Sentinel editorial on April 22, that we are a community of interest that has similar concerns about water, forestry, agriculture, tourism and management of federal lands.

These concerns are critical to our economy and our businesses. We align with Club 20 in policy and in spirit on this issue.

We have also gone on record this week as opposing all the city-integrity maps that put Grand Junction and Boulder in the same congressional district and split us off from much of our trade area, including Montrose.

An even bigger reason to oppose these maps is the risks they pose for our residents in being adequately represented and heard as laws are made in Washington, D.C., that affect our very livelihoods.

By creating maps that would make it possible for every elected official in the Colorado congressional delegation to be elected from within 30 minutes of Denver International Airport, it is possible that the rural populations, which live in two-thirds of the state, will be without representation of their unique perspectives.

The purpose of redistricting is to ensure that voters are equally represented. It is clear that in the city-integrity maps, voters from the rural parts of this state are being silenced in favor of partisan politics and special interests.

This is not a partisan issue for Mesa County. Whether Democrat or Republican, we must vigorously be heard on this issue or we risk not being heard at all for the next 10 years. We urge an approach that restores and respects communities of interest in this process.

DIANE SCHWENKE Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce

Grand Junction

Renewable energy won’t solve gasoline dilemma

I guess I just don’t understand something here.

Our president, who is supposed to be very smart, says we can decrease our dependence on foreign oil by making solar and wind a bigger part of our energy mix. But all of the information I can find says that oil is used to generate 3 percent of our electricity.

Oil is used mostly in transportation, although it is used for many other products. A breakdown shows that from a barrel of oil (42 gallons) there are 19 gallons of gasoline, 10 gallons of diesel fuel, 4 gallons of jet fuel, 1.25 gallons of heating oil, 1.7 gallons of heavy fuel, 1.7 gallons LPG and 7 gallons of other products (such as plastics, fertilizers, etc.).

I just don’t know how windmills and solar panels can produce energy to replace any of the above.

The United States could move a lot closer to energy independence if federal and state governments and environmental groups reduced regulations and restrictions on oil and gas drilling. Drilling must be allowed on the continental shelves and in ANWR and encouraged in places like North Dakota, Montana, south Texas and other areas of extensive known reserves.

The Obama administration keeps telling us that oil companies already have millions of acres under lease and should drill there. Every oil and gas company would love to have a staff of geologists and geophysicists who proposed leasing only areas with commercial fields, but that’s impossible.

The United States likely won’t be able to produce enough oil to eliminate all imports, but if oil companies were allowed to drill in areas of high potential, we could probably replace the oil we get from the Middle East.


Grand Junction

Wagner and Ryan wrong on their budget remedy

Rick Wagner is an ideological partisan whose rants merit only one response from knowledgeable people:  unambiguous rejection.

Under Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan, the poorest Americans would suffer immediate budget cuts, middle-class Americans would face distant, uncertain cuts in benefits and the richest Americans would enjoy an immediate windfall.

That is why a huge majority of the citizenry supports increased taxes for the super-wealthy.

If Wagner thinks a socialistic system for the very wealthy, rewarding Wall Street speculators for “success” while asking the public to pay for their “failure” is equitable, he is sadly mistaken.

Another pertinent question cries out for an answer. When did the epiphany on the budget deficit occur? It was apparently no problem for either party when two wars were waged causing enormous debt — all without any call for Americans to sacrifice to pay for them with a tax increase.

DALE C. STAPLETON Grand Junction


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