Printed letters, Feb. 15, 2011

You can be a conservative, liberal or just plain stupid and it won’t make a bit of difference in the next 12 months regarding the rising price of a gallon of gasoline. You can also agree or disagree with the energy policies of the state of Colorado and the policies of the federal government. Your choice.

You can, if you like, join Interior Secretary Ken Salazar standing outside a Denver sporting goods store, watching geese fly overhead, as he announces a new wilderness policy that restricts drilling on all federal lands.

Our two Colorado senators don’t seem to care if another oil or gas well is ever drilled in Colorado.

The state severance tax has billion-dollar revenue shortfalls and unemployment in Mesa County is 10 percent. Several oil companies have reduced drilling plans in the Piceance Basin for 2011 because of new state regulations. This will be a headwind for economic recovery on the Western Slope.

It is, however, the growth of the middle class in developing world economies that has put upward pressure on world oil prices. Soaring food prices and social networking are also factors in the growing unrest in the Middle East. The events in Egypt are just the beginning.

America imports 67 percent of its oil needs, of which 18 percent, comes from the Middle East. Our national security is at risk as oil prices continue to rise.

The liberals have the conservatives tied up in court and are strangling them with more regulations for drilling new wells. This confrontation leaves America’s oil policy in the hands of the just-plain-stupid group, including the current administration.

WILLIAM F. MCKNIGHT Grand Junction

Obama must show more leadership on health care

The health care law was President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. Now, during the implementation phase, Obamacare is mired in controversy. Obama has not provided the American people with a comprehensive explanation of how it will affect our health care system.

Members of Congress and the media have stepped into the vacuum with claims and counterclaims. These claims cover program costs, the constitutionality of the individual mandate, the granting of waivers from parts of the law and whether the law will inhibit firms from hiring workers.

These issues have been brought front and center by the letter to President Obama from 26 governors requesting expedited review of the constitutionality of parts of the law by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The president now has an opportunity to demonstrate leadership by taking responsibility for resolving these issues in a timely fashion and ensuring that the American people are informed how the law will change our national health care system.

Failure by the president to act at this critical juncture is unfair to the nation. Strategically, it will create a minefield of issues that the Republicans can exploit in the 2012 elections.

PETER REKEMEYER

Grand Junction

Tri-State line difficulties foreshadow wind, solar

If Tri-State Generation and Transmission is having problems finding an acceptable swath of land to run a 13-mile transmission line, imagine what will happen when we start trying to build more wind and solar farms.

Those are going to require huge chunks of land, maintenance roads and even more transmission lines.

Between local, state and federal regulations, wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, roadless areas, state parks, national parks and endangered species, I have to wonder where something on the scale of a wind farm or solar farm can possibly be built.

DAVID FOSTER

Grand Junction

Youngsters need to be accountable for actions

Watching the news recently, I saw some of the youth of today complaining about “nothing to do.”

I am young enough to remember the same time in my life. We could go to Snooks Bottom or 29 Road to hang out, drink, fight, whatever.

I guess the police and sheriff’s departments have cracked down on those places. So, now what?

Well, the military changed me. It made me grow up and gave me an opportunity to go to college.

There is also the Peace Corps and other volunteer programs that will show you how extremely lucky we are to be Americans and live in this nation.

Don’t look for your community to entertain you. Start reading books, educating yourself and start being accountable for your actions.

I am tired of people in our society looking around for someone else to blame for their own choices. If you choose to get stoned or drugged up and hang out with the wrong crowd, then you need to be accountable for your actions. Welcome to adulthood.

MIKE PARKER

Fruita



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