Printed letters, Feb. 13, 2011

This is in reference to the ongoing controversy about the refusal of the drilling companies to provide a list of the chemicals and ingredients that make up the fracking solutions.

It seems that all companies that manufacture, use or sell products that might affect the health or welfare of the citizens must list all of the substances that are in the products and warn of any harmful effects from its use. The drilling companies have been exempted from these requirements regarding their fracking fluids. The question is: Why?

The excuse by the drilling companies that the fluids are proprietary and could affect competition is not valid because a lot of other companies have the same problem but still have to list the substances they use. Their contention that the fracking fluid has never been proved to contaminate water or food sources is also not valid because it has never been proved that it doesn’t.

State Rep. Roger Wilson has introduced a bill that would require the disclosure of the substances in fracking fluids. All citizens should contact their representatives and instruct them to support this bill.

GARRY EVENSON

LARRY SODERBERG

Battlement Mesa

Subsidies still needed for alternative energy

The worst of the assaults on logic, scholarship and composition to appear in the letters section make the section difficult to stomach at times. I have a nephew named Rick Coleman — but the recent letter to the editor from Rick Coleman regarding energy subsidies was particularly offensive.

Historically, subsidies have been an attempt to encourage competition, especially where an established industry has a distinct advantage over a potentially more efficient one.

Fossil fuels have been subsidized for at least 70 years, since the build-up for World War II, and possibly longer. The multi-billion dollar oil and gas industry of today has no need of subsidies anymore to level the playing field with any other competitor. In this case, subsidies only increase the obscene profits squeezed out of dependent consumers with very few alternatives for transportation and heating. Thus, Coleman’s idea of dropping all subsidies to level the playing field is a preposterous joke.

The only way to actually begin to level the playing field would be to drop subsidies for fossil fuels, tax them to approximate their true cost in terms of environmental damage, and subsidize renewables for 70 years. That won’t happen in my lifetime, but it would provide some fair competition, something I thought we prized in this country.

Of course, a fledgling industry can scarcely compete immediately with a subsidized behemoth. Who would even argue that? I daresay, however, that the general public is hardly unanimously convinced that renewable energy is folly.

Finally, I’m still scratching my head over his slavery comparison. The real issue is what’s best for our country and giving new ideas and processes a fair shot more than it is rights or wrongs. There are more than a few of us out there who understand what sustainability is all about.

MICHAEL R. MARQUARDT

Whitewater

New gun legislation will protect our rights

Kudos to Reps. Ray Scott and Laura Bradford in the Colorado House and Rep. Steve King in the Colorado Senate for co-sponsoring House Bill 1205, “Concerning the Authority of a Law-Abiding Person to Carry a Concealed Handgun Without a Permit.”

This common-sense legislation is sponsored by Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Parker in the House and Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, in the Senate. It has 24 co-sponsors in the House and 11 co-sponsors in the Senate.

The bill is designed to do one thing: allow citizens who are legally eligible to possess handguns to carry that handgun without obtaining a costly, burdensome and bureaucratic permit.

One of the chief advantages this bill presents is recognizing that tragedies such as the shooting in Tucson last month could have been prevented or, at the very least, casualties minimized, if just one law-abiding citizen had been carrying a concealed handgun at the moment the murderer began shooting. While there was one person within earshot carrying a concealed weapon that day, he was too far away to get there in time.

We, as Coloradans, must take responsibility and be proactive in protecting ourselves and our fellow citizens. As was demonstrated in the Tucson shooting, private citizens can be enormously helpful to understaffed law enforcement during terrorist actions or other violent criminal acts.

Disasters such as what happened in Tucson can be stopped from happening here in Colorado. Enabling all law-abiding Coloradans to carry does just that.

Let’s hope the rest of Colorado’s Legislature joins western Colorado in recognizing the benefits of individual concealed carry without the expense, inconsistent application, and prohibitive nature of the current process.

DAVID COX President

Pro-Second Amendment Committee

Grand Junction



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