Printed letters, March 4, 2010

U.S. economy needs oil shale

It was interesting to see that Shell has abandoned the water rights application for their oil shale project in Rio Blanco County. Shell cited many factors, including the global recession and regulatory uncertainty. Fortunately, they are continuing their investment into this massive resource. Unfortunately, many industries are leaving Colorado and the United States, citing regulatory uncertainty. The regulatory and political environment often just makes it too risky for them to do business here.

America remains highly dependent on foreign oil and extremely vulnerable to oil price spikes and supply disruptions. The fact is that America does not produce enough domestic oil to insulate ourselves from global economic and political forces. In their 2010 Outlook, the Energy Information Administration predicted that world oil consumption will rise significantly by 2035, despite major investments in renewables. In addition, the EIA predicts that the price of oil will climb to $224 per barrel by 2035. Along the way, we will see increasingly wild fluctuations in oil and gas prices, like what we saw in 2008.

This kind of price instability is highly detrimental to the U.S. economy. In fact, some economists believe that energy price spikes, such as what we saw in mid-2008, actually cause recessions. Four of the past five recessions were preceded by energy price spikes.

Part of the solution could be oil shale. A reasonably sized oil shale industry in the United States could help insulate the U.S. economy from worldwide instability. Continued research is essential. Let’s see if we can balance water use and oil shale production. We’re on the cusp of commercial viability.

Most of all, our elected officials need to establish a fair playing field in energy, not favoring one source over another. The dynamic U.S. economy needs all the energy we can get.


Grand Junction

Keep Cameo plant open and jobs local

In the not-too-distant past, the Western Slope was self-sustaining. We had Gary Refinery to refine our fuel. We had the Skyland packing plant and we had Louisiana-Pacific producing building materials, all of which the EPA helped close down. What’s next?

The Cameo Power Plant is slated for closure at the end of this year. We will lose a plant capable of powering the Grand Valley and will be dependent on outside sources for our electricity. How many jobs will be lost? About 35 at the plant, 35 who work at the Douglas Pass Coal Mine and 10 who haul the coal, just to name a few.

Thank you, Gov. Bill Ritter, the state Legislature, U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and President Barack Obama. Why do politicians want to continue to destroy the economy of western Colorado?

When Xcel commissioned and started up the coal-fired Comanche 3 plant in Pueblo, the deal made with the environmentalists and the EPA was that Cameo was not only to be shut down and mothballed, but completely and entirely demolished as a trade-off for the new Pueblo Plant, in order to minimize the carbon footprint.

Our coal is clean-burning, among the best in the country. How much pollution have you observed the plant at Cameo producing?

The science of global warming is a joke, at best, and has been fixed for a very sound reason — to steal your affordable energy and make wind and solar seem affordable at prices five to 10 times more than coal and gas-fired plants. When the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, where do we receive power?

When the power doesn’t flow across the high power lines from the Front Range, we will be left in the dark.

Comanche 3 already suffers start-up delays from sub-par or defective equipment imported from Asia. If future issues exist, it will be a cold day when the Cameo Power Plant is gone.

Be vocal, contact our representatives and let’s keep our power here. Let’s keep our jobs and power plant here!



Locals made difference in Valentines for vets

We would like to thank the schools, companies and caring citizens of Mesa County for helping with the Valentine card drive. KEKB and Operation Interdependence collected nearly 5,000 handmade and store-bought cards for the VA hospital, veterans and troops.

One teacher recently said her school received a letter. Here is part of what it said: “I was at the VA hospital on Valentine’s Day and saw all the people reading cards. One man looked at me and said, ‘You look sad, here have some cards.’ I read the cards and took them with me when I left. I want to let you know how much joy your cards have given me, thank you, from a veteran in Alaska.”

We live in a very patriotic part of the state and we applaud your help.


National President and Area Manager

Operation Interdependence Inc.

Grand Junction


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