Printed letters, May 8, 2011

In what continues to be a difficult economy, our congressman is working to help find solutions. By working to improve the permitting processes for energy development in western Colorado and supporting an all-of-the-above energy strategy that encourages development of all domestic sources of energy, newly elected U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton is quickly distinguishing himself in Washington.

Tipton helped pass three bills through the Natural Resources Committee that encourage the responsible development of offshore resources. These bills (HR 1229, 1230 and 1231) will be heard on the House floor in the next few weeks and, if passed, would set timelines for the Interior Department to consider permits to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, require the administration to move ahead promptly with offshore lease sales and require the development of a five-year plan for leasing in areas known to have the most oil and natural gas resources.

If these bills become law, America will be one step closer to an energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign sources of energy while still protecting our own environment and creating jobs at home that will contribute billions of dollars more to America’s economic recovery.

MIKE SUEK Grand Junction

Don’t sell quality of life to campaign contributors

I keep hearing from Rep. Scott Tipton how he is working to ease or outright eliminate regulations on the energy industry in the interest of job creation. There are even otherwise-intelligent folks lobbying to eliminate the EPA altogether, as a budget matter.

One doesn’t need to look any further than right here in western Colorado and eastern Utah. Back in the day, before the EPA, Union Carbide operated uranium mills here. They took their waste (mill tailings) and simply dumped them along the Colorado River. When they were done, they hightailed it out of town and left most of the cleanup for the taxpayers.

Union Carbide also operated chemical plants in such countries as India, where there were few environmental regulations and more money for the already wealthy. Until, there was the inevitable chemical disaster in Bhopal that killed thousands of people and left half a million suffering.

Others were left to clean up that mess. My point is: Do we really want to live in Mexico City or Hong Kong or Bejing or Bhopal?

The answer is obviously no. So why would Rep. Tipton want to allow wealthy oil companies to run willy-nilly, unregulated through, not just Colorado, but the entire country? The answer is simple. Follow the money.

We must ask ourselves: Is our quality of life and that of our families for sale to Rep. Tipton’s campaign contributors? Remember who will pick up the tab when they finish.

JOHN A. IJAMS

Grand Junction

Loma concert site will damage home values

I moved to Loma in 2004 to build our dream house in a quiet community surrounded by ranches and farms. This may soon become a nightmare. How would you like to spend weekends in your backyard with an open-air concert venue across the street?

I have no problem with rock or country music. But I don’t want to be forced to deal with the loud music, blowing dust, trash and other problems that can arise when 20,000-plus people get together to party. I enjoy quiet time on my patio. But that may be ending, thanks to our elected officials.

The attorney for Bobby Willis stated at the commissioners’ meeting recently that the long-range plan is to make the site in Loma a permanent facility with multiple events throughout the year.  I can’t believe the commissioners would allow this to take place with total disregard to what a permanent venue such as this would do to the quality of life for those of us living nearby.

I ask all those who might read this (especially the commissioners) these questions: Could they honestly say they would enjoy having an outdoor concert facility a stone’s throw away from their back door? Would you purchase a home with a neighbor like this?

We would have to drop well below market value to sell our place. It might be easier to sell a home at the end of an airport runway.

Perhaps one of the commissioners will volunteer their neighborhood for weekend concerts.

It seems to me that this group of commissioners lives by the golden rule: He who has the gold rules.

DAN FITZGERALD

Loma

GarCo commissioners must resign or be recalled

The decision by the Garfield County Commissioners on May 2 to terminate the health impact assessment being conducted for Battlement Mesa before its completion is appalling.

This assessment was requested by hundreds of Battlement Mesa residents who are facing an unprecedented level of oil and gas production within their community.

This action by these commissioners demonstrates their disregard for the health and safety of their constituents, as well as their complicity with the oil and gas industry.

The citizens of Garfield County should demand the immediate resignation or recall the Board of County Commissioners. They deserve better.

RON GALTERIO

Battlement Mesa


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