Printed letters, March 7, 2011

Front Range groups must protect resources

Regarding the Feb. 16 article, “Fisheries weigh options for, against diversions”: We appreciate The Daily Sentinel’s coverage of the potential impacts of the additional trans-mountain water diversion projects being proposed by Denver Water and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The article contains several statements that bear clarification.

First, Denver and Northern are not entitled to build the new projects regardless of their impacts to fish and wildlife resources in western Colorado. The water rights for the projects only establish a place in the water rights priority line. But, to build the projects, the proponents must secure necessary federal, state and local approvals. To win these approvals, Denver and Northern are required to take steps to avoid fish and wildlife impacts.

Second, it is inaccurate to say that Denver and Northern will divert the desired additional increments of water whether the projects are built or not. Think about it for a minute. If Denver and Northern can take the additional water without the projects, why would they spend millions of dollars to permit and build them?

Third, Denver is proposing to spend $5 million to $7 million to mitigate impacts of its project, but these funds will be directed at impacts on South Boulder Creek and the North Fork of the South Platte River. Denver is offering virtually no mitigation for the Fraser and Williams Fork basins — the two basins that will bear the brunt of the impacts of the proposed Moffat project.

Soon, Colorado Division of Wildlife staff will be called upon to advise the Wildlife Commission on measures needed to protect fish and wildlife resources from the impacts of the proposed trans-mountain diversions. We urge the DOW to base its analysis on sound science and to fulfill its responsibility to protect these priceless natural resources.

MELY WHITING, Counsel

Trout Unlimited

Colorado Water Project

Pagosa Springs

Unions and politicians kick problems down road

The public unions have got a stranglehold on the taxpayers. There was a time for unions in prior years. Workers were being oppressed and mistreated, but that time has long since gone. Now the unions have become the oppressor and the taxpayers are paying the price.

The states are broke, America is broke, real unemployment/underemployment is closer to 20 percent than 10 percent, which means less tax dollars are being collected. But the unions, along with President Obama and the Democrats, refuse to make any serious cuts.

The government spends over $3 trillion a year and they can’t find $100 billion in savings? That’s like the average household not being able to save $100. They all say the situation is unsustainable and must be corrected, but seem happy to put another band-aid of some type on it and kick the can down the road again.

Nothing ever seems to get resolved. Every election we listen to speeches on energy independence but here we are again with rising gas prices and banned drilling in our own country. I’m sure 2012 will be no different. I often wonder if the government really cares about rising gas prices.

We have to listen to politicians complain about Social Security, but nothing ever gets done. Kick the can again. Medicare and Medicaid, the same story.

Both parties have dodged the problems for years. The time has come to get something done before our economy is completely destroyed. Everybody is so busy blaming the other side and worried they won’t get re-elected.

As Mark Twain once said, “Suppose you were an idiot. Suppose you were a member of Congress, but I repeat myself.”

NEIL RIDDLE

Whitewater

Max Krey deserved Pioneer Award

The West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association was right to award this year’s Pioneer of the Piceance Award to Max Krey. At 90, Krey represents what today’s natural gas should strive to be.

Philanthropic and community-minded, Max Krey has been working in the oil and gas industry since 1949 — as was learned during the award’s presentation. Today’s oil and gas entrepreneurs could learn a thing or two from his local legacy and example.

RANDY WHITEMAN

Rifle



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