Printed letters, Aug. 10, 2011
Although The Daily Sentinel’s July 31 story about the Department of Energy’s uranium leasing program quoted a government official saying that “it’s absolutely untrue” that a lawsuit from conservationists compelled the agency to conduct a new Environmental Impact Statement, it seems clear that an EIS was issued in the middle of a lawsuit to demand one.
Actually, ordering the study is a win-win opportunity, providing a thorough review, coordination of local, state and national agencies and the possibility of creating a long-range, comprehensive plan for clean up and monitoring of uranium development that the Department of Energy has neglected for too long. The uranium leasing program affects a vast swath of the Western Slope and has monumental implications for our future.
Of course, a full and thorough environmental impact study is needed to understand the interaction of unreclaimed and future uranium mines, unprocessed ores and radioactive wastes. The need is so obvious that Gary Steele, the VP of Energy Fuels who wants to build a uranium mill in Montrose County, called it a “thoughtful endeavor.”
Focusing coverage of this issue on the DOE’s attempts to deflect responsibility for the lack of real analysis in the past misses the point of how important this upcoming public process is to move into the future.
Let the DOE know how important it is to thoroughly evaluate the impacts of the uranium leasing program and to meet its legal and moral obligations to conduct a proper environmental impact study before making decisions that will have a permanent impact on the unique lands in the Dolores and San Miguel watersheds.
People get ‘entitlements,’ Congress has ‘pensions’
Thanks to The Daily Sentinel for the July 31 article listing the amounts that make up the federal debt. I suggest everyone find and read it if they haven’t already.
Because of the constant talk about Social Security and Medicare, I would like to point out that, of the $14.3 trillion in debt, the government owes $4.6 trillion to itself, “mostly borrowed from Social Security.”
Later, the article says that Medicare’s prescription drug plan cost $300 billion. Let me see, if the government through the years had cut spending and left that money in the trust fund, I believe those two programs would be secure today. Instead, we constantly hear about how many entitlement checks there are, how they have to raise the retirement age, etc.
According to about.com, the Congressional Research Service (2006 information) found 413 members of Congress were due to receive pensions ranging from $35,952 to $60,972. They have to serve at least five years to receive any pension.
Wow, five years. I have paid into Social Security about 45 years and I sure don’t get those amounts. I don’t know why our retirement checks are called “entitlement” while Congress receives “pensions.” Just another way to try to divert attention away from themselves.
I don’t have the answer on how to stop debt accumulation, but would like to see an honest debate instead of this partisan, re-election mindset that precludes any cooperation.
I’d like to hear them talk about reinstating the 2001, 2003 and 2010 tax levels, closing loopholes, making sure companies who outsource jobs pay more taxes than companies in the United States, reducing foreign aid for military purposes and investigating waste in the many grants they authorize.
I also wish the Supreme Court would reverse its stand on the obscene amount of money given to political campaigns. Even half of that money would do so much good for Americans and also relieve the voters of listening to constant ads that only irritate so many people.