Printed letters, Feb. 14, 2010

In its editorial urging local legislators to sit and watch while jobs are lost at the Cameo Power Plant, The Daily Sentinel misses the vital point at hand:

Xcel is closing the plant in substantial response to the Climate Action Plan developed by Gov. Bill Ritter, a plan that creates significant regulatory bias against coal-fired power generation in Colorado. Gov. Ritter’s Climate Action Plan is motivated by the same heresy propelling the cap-and-trade movement in Washington, and the Cameo Power Plant is the first power source in its crosshairs.

Indeed, when I predicted three years ago that the Cameo Power Plant would be the first fatality of Bill Ritter’s new energy economy, the Sentinel scoffed at the notion, just as the paper argued at the time that Ritter’s oil and gas restrictions were A-OK.

Far from a response to the ebb-and-flow of the economy, the closure of the Cameo Power Plant represents exactly what’s wrong with government these days — rapacious left-wing ideology making its way into public policies, killing jobs and strangling the economy at a time when times are tough enough.

Sadly, the Sentinel’s editorial gave Ritter and the Democrats political cover to impose a different kind of cap-and-trade in our Grand Valley — capping energy production, and trading still more jobs from our Grand Valley.

SEN. JOSH PENRY

Grand Junction

Self-promotion trumps ideals on Cameo issue

Xcel Energy is a publicly held company, not a government entity. Maybe Sen. Josh Penry and Rep. Steve King need to understand the difference before they try to force the Cameo plant to remain open through legislation.

If they succeed in keeping this outdated plant open, what will their response be when Xcel comes before the PUC to request an increase on all of our bills to pay for this inefficient operation?

When an idea like this is sponsored by two shining stars of the party that is supposed to be against excessive government involvement, it makes it pretty easy to see that self-promotion trumps ideals.

JIM HOCKETT

Grand Junction

Where is political help for rising dental costs?

Like other veterans who served in peace time, I find that I’m not eligible for dental care through the Veterans Affairs, even though they have an excellent dental clinic at the hospital. Nor are we able to get dental benefits through our Medicare. What does a 69-year-old do?

I had some teeth extracted a short time ago and had an overview from my dentist of work I need done. The cost: $34,000. Are you kidding?

We never hear from Democrats or Republicans any talk of controlling the cost of dental care when they talk about health care. The sad part is that most dental offices want cash or insurance, no installment payment plans. That leaves a lot of us out in the cold, and our health suffers because we cannot afford to have necessary dental work done.

CLARK MESSICK Grand Junction

End liquor monopoly and preserve coal plant

First: The state should correct the legal fix presently in effect that restricts competition in the sale of liquor.

Most industries and businesses in this country do not have special legal advantages, which cost every consumer hard-earned money, and neither should the local liquor shops.

The law should be changed to allow more competition.

Second: Xcel Energy should continue to use coal to generate power in its Cameo plant, even if it must upgrade the facility to be more efficient. Coal is several times as efficient for generation of electricity as solar energy. As such, to convert from coal to solar costs ratepayers significantly. And, since a federal and/or state subsidy is included, taxpayers also are injured by the feel-good concept.

Furthermore, coal mining and transportation employ many people in relatively high-paid jobs, which would be lost by the transition to solar power. Also, the state and/or the feds would lose millions of dollars of royalties. So, the switch to alternate energy is a lose-lose-lose proposition.

Rep. King and Sen. Penry are on the correct side of this issue, and should stick with it.

PERRY W. BILYEU

Palisade

Photography should be used to nab violators

My daughter recently received a $75 traffic violation for running a red light in Albuquerque, N.M. It came in the mail with a picture of the car and license plate clearly visible.

I feel the city and county should get together and implement this technique here in Grand Junction. This could be a cash-cow source of revenue while making our streets much safer.

Just a thought and observation from a concerned citizen having seen this violation commonplace in this city.

GARY KNISELY

Grand Junction



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