America's promising future can't be deterrred
Well here we are again. Republicans attempting to suppress the votes of African Americans, Hispanics, and in many ways elderly people. Why? Is it because they understand since the time of COVID, America's demographic has changed? And formerly Republican stronghold districts are being taken over by independent voters and Democratic voting blocks. It is the way of the nation now. So many seeking jobs in places besides their home states, where so many businesses went under. I have seen this happening in western Colorado, and it is a good thing. Suppressing the vote will only reap unhappy people who will feel their freedoms are being stepped on. I for one, want everyone who can vote to do so uninhibited. This is who America is. I am tired of reading about Matt Gaetz. I want to read about how Americans came together and fought off the virus and won! I want to anticipate the potential new infrastructure bill that is coming soon, and know our government is looking out for us all, not just a select few. Grand Junction is diverse. Good people live here. Time to focus on the good things coming our of Washington DC, not what Trump, or Tucker Carlson, or Matt Gaetz things about anything. Enough said.
Public deserves update on I-70B widening
I appreciate receiving responses from candidates Rick Taggart, Abe Herman, Randall Reitz, and Greg Haitz on my request for all eight candidates' positions on the I-70B widening project.
I had hoped the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel would follow up with the status of CDOT's plan for phases 6 and 7 through downtown. In the Sentinel's December article on the project, CDOT is cited as saying funding for that phase should be known by March. Meanwhile the design goes on without public input. They'll likely unveil the design as a "draft" (paid for by taxpayers) and cite the pandemic as an excuse for minimal public review and input (not to mention the City Council's input). Remember, it's not CDOT's road. It belongs to the public!
Policymakers must be aware of cost of unreliable power sources
I read with interest Saturday’s front page article regarding Xcel’s $2.7 million dollar fuel cost surcharge to Grand Valley Power resulting from Xcel’s decision to rely on the natural gas spot market to compensate for an unanticipated failure in wind and solar electricity generation during last February’s five-day freeze.
In a review of Xcel’s 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission early last month, energy analyst David Ramsden-Wood observed that Xcel had spent “an additional $1.2 billion on natural gas during the roughly 5-day shortage and surge in spot markets.”
This spot market gas wasn’t used to heat homes or fuel baseload generation as Xcel purchases gas for home heating and baseload at advantageous predetermined prices. Instead this spot market natural gas was utilized to generate electricity to make up for an unplanned decrease in wind generation during a critical period of highly elevated electricity demand.
Mr. Ramsden-Wood put the costs to Xcel customers of unreliable wind generation during this critical period in greater perspective:
“In 2020, Xcel had $11.4b in revenue from their natural gas and electric generating business. That's $31.2 mm per day in revenue. Over that 5 day period in February, they spent $240 mm extra PER DAY. If you can't generate any power from wind during a high demand time, you MUST pay for the natural gas or coal to make up for it. That excess demand without long term contracts stabilizing your price, ensures you pay the spot rate. And as we build out more wind and solar and underinvest in "on demand" and "base load" power, this will be more frequent.“
I commend GVP CEO Tom Walch for his commitment to investigate the policy actions that resulted in this spot market disaster for Xcel’s wholesale and retail consumers alike. In their zeal to pursue intermittent renewables at all costs, Colorado policymakers at the PUC and the state legislature alike need to better understand the punitive cost of blind investment in electricity sources that can’t be relied upon when they are needed most.
Science saves lives
As of April 4, 568,524 of us have been killed by COVID-19. In a single year, 2019, 659,041 were killed by heart disease and 599,601 were killed by cancer. If we believed in science, we would end this massacre.
Without surgeries or stents, Dr. Dean Ornish reduced the chest pain of people with severe heart disease by 90% with a plant-based diet in just weeks. Blood flow to their hearts improved in only a month, and even severely blocked arteries had reopened after a year. Dr. Esselstyn published similar results. More than 600,000 of us die annually from a disease that has already been cured.
How does cancer respond to a plant-based diet? Mayo Clinic staff write that decades of research suggests that the best diet to prevent cancer is all about plants. When researchers tracked nearly 70,000 volunteers, they found lower cancer rates among those who ate no meat at all. Those who ate no dairy, eggs, fish or other meats, had the lowest rates of cancer of any diet.