Printed letters, June 27, 2010

Gulf spill is chance to push clean energy

I recently read The Daily Sentinel editorial titled, “Gulf oil spill not an opportunity for Obama,” and was extremely angered. I believe that the idea that the Gulf spill is not linkable to the energy crisis that America is now facing is absolutely absurd.

Has there ever been an environmental disaster linked to solar energy, or wind energy? I think not. And this spill is a phenomenal opportunity to re-evaluate how we, as a country, meet our energy demands.

Not only is renewable energy, such as solar or wind, a clean non-emissions energy, but it creates a possibility for economic and industry growth across the entire United States.

Petroleum energy is not only a huge polluter when it is burned for energy, but the process to harvest and refine it is incredibly dangerous and has a huge risk for disaster, as we can see.

It is also a unique opportunity in Grand Junction to create new jobs and university grants to research and implement clean-energy technology instead of relying so heavily on petroleum-based energy needs.

While, yes, the climate bill will not stop the leak in the Gulf, if we would instead have focused on clean energy instead of drilling in the Gulf, we wouldn’t even have this disaster in the first place.

BRETT JARMAN

Longmont

Natural gas is important as we move to renewables

I agree with Charles Ashby’s piece, “Ritter’s legacy clean on energy,” in the June 20 edition of The Daily Seninel that a foundation has been laid for Colorado’s “new-energy economy,” where adding more renewable energy sources will significantly lower emissions and spur job growth.

But Colorado will always need a reliable, base-load power source when the sun sets and the wind isn’t blowing. Abundant, domestic natural gas is that critical partner to expanding renewables in Colorado — and the rest of the nation — as America transitions to a clean energy economy.

The Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act was certainly a step in that direction. By increasing the use of natural gas, Colorado will reap substantial environmental, economic and national security benefits, including cleaner air, new clean-energy jobs and greater reliance on a homegrown energy source that reduces our dependence on foreign oil.

In 2008 alone, there were more than 137,000 Coloradans whose jobs were supported by the natural gas community, including me. Natural gas also funnels about $8.4 billion in labor income and $18.3 billion in economic contributions into the state each year.

With the increased use of low-emissions energy sources like natural gas, we will see the economic and environmental benefits to Colorado continue to climb.

As the Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act creates thousands of new jobs, diversifies Colorado’s energy portfolio and helps clear our air, I hope other states come to recognize how natural gas gives America an extraordinary opportunity — right now — to accelerate emissions reductions, advance our clean-energy future and create good-paying jobs right here at home.

TREVOR TAYLOR

Grand Junction

City should retain the three fired police officers

My wife and I feel that the city of Grand Junction should retain the three police officers involved in the recent “transient camp” incident. These young men have committed themselves to this career, and they and the city have a considerable investment in their training and qualifications.

The proper thing to do is to admonish the three officers involved in the incident, provide additional guidance and training for them and the entire force as to the handling of enforcement issues when dealing with these problem miscreants.

FRED ZIMMAT

Grand Junction



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