Letters to the Editor
Robert Boyle wants us to study the issues, so here you go.
The House of Representatives has the right to decide if they want to spend money on any government activity since all spending bills have to originate in the House. This is called legislation by appropriation and has been done various times in our country’s history. Nine different times the House appropriated money to keep the government open, but the Senate refused because the House wanted to amend ObamaCare by delaying the implementation for individuals for one year.Learn more »
The recent articles describing the tremendous impacts of drilling just two test wells in the Thompson Divide highlights why so many of us believe this special area is not appropriate for industrial gas development. As a student at CRMS living and studying every day along one of the few roads leading into the Thompson Divide I can easily imagine how drilling and the truck trips required to do it could overwhelm a community and change what it means to live there.
Clearly there is no appropriate route into the Thompson Divide for gas truck and drilling rigs — not through Glenwood and Four Mile Road, not through Silt and up East Divide and not through Carbondale, past CRMS and up Thompson Creek. Respecting this environment, and the unique resources it has to offer besides gas, is important to people who live in the area, and the same should go for the companies that wish to drill there.Learn more »
I read with tepid interest the grossly inaccurate comments made about me by Free Press opinion columnist Jim Hoffman, in his column which published Nov. 22. Since he threw out the old “perception is reality” line, let’s talk about that.
The “perception” from those who know Hoffman’s writing is that he’s simply another liberal who goes out of his way to attack anyone who fails to conform to his progressive new world disorder. A good example of that was the middle school reporting he did concerning the county commissioners and the riverfront.Learn more »
Engineers, scientists, and community leaders solve problems that confront us when disaster strikes and we suffer the devastation of wildfires, storms, avalanches, and flooding. On Nov. 2 hundreds of students from the Roaring Fork Valley and other Western Slope communities shared innovative solutions to problems related to Natural Disasters as part of the Nature’s Fury Robotics Challenge.
This worldwide competition is the brainchild of inventor Dean Kamen, the founder of the U.S. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.) His vision is that by encouraging students to take part in these competitions, students will become innovators of the future. Students completed in teamwork games, shared research projects, and participated in technical interviews to show their commitment to the core values of FIRST. Students also took on a robotics challenge that required programming, mechanical design, and problem-solving skills using LEGO robotics systems.Learn more »
On behalf or Roaring Fork Conservancy, we would like to thank all who participated in the 2013 Roaring Fork Watershed Photo Contest. In the Amateur Division award winners are 1st Place - Barry Mink, 2nd Place - Mike Garbarini, 3rd Place - Paul Hilts, Honorable Mention - Andrea Holland and Richard L. de Campo. In the Professional Division, award winners include a tie for 1st Place by Kathryn Rabinow and Janine Whiterell, 2nd Place - Amy Hadden Marsh, 3rd Place - Kathy Finholm, and Honorable Mention - Janine Whiterell. New this year was the People’s Choice Award awarded to Dan Glidden. A special thank you to Greg Poschman, David Hiser, and Robin Henry for judging the photos. Also thanks to our sponsors Roadside Gallery in Carbondale and Digital Dimensions in Glenwood Springs. You may view the winning photos at www.roaringfork.org/photo. We invite all amateur and professional photographers to participate next year.
Thank you,Learn more »
The State Division of Insurance is hosting a meeting on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. at the Hotel Colorado. Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar will be discussing the Insurance Commission’s Geographic Ratings, which have resulted in a high increase in health care premiums for individuals and small groups in Garfield County for 2014.
If you are a small business owner or an individual, or parent of a grown child facing these increases, you need to be there to voice your objections.Learn more »
It could be that things have changed drastically. When I was secretary at the Carbondale Elementary School, we had what the state of Colorado said was “Fast Track English Class.”
This class was to put any child that didn’t speak the English language on the fast track to learning. This meant that the kindergarten and/or the first-grade teacher taught those students that needed to learn English on the fast track to learning ASAP. This was mandated by the state of Colorado.Learn more »
The members of the Glenwood Springs Garden Club — the oldest Garden Club in Colorado — were privileged to hear Chad Rudow, water quality coordinator from Roaring Fork Conservancy (RFC), speak about protecting area rivers and preserving the amount and quality of our water originating in the Roaring Fork Valley Watershed. His presentation — illustrating the RFC’s mission “to inspire people to explore, value and protect the Roaring Fork Watershed” — illuminated issues such as use and misuse, the importance of healthy riparian areas, water needs of various constituencies, water standards and flows, conservation, drought and water quality.
For those overwhelmed by the water puzzle, all of the above pieces, intricately interrelated and scientifically observable, are, fortunately, addressed by the RFC in its work.Learn more »
It is impossible to put into words our gratitude and appreciation to all of our friends, neighbors, and family. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us during Jack’s illness and his passing.
Maybe it was a card, a meal, a prayer, or a thought. We were shown many acts of kindness and all of these wonderful deeds helped us through our time of grief.Learn more »
Letter: Sunnyside residents thank commissioners, Frontier Paving, neighborsDecember 1, 2013 —
Recently, Sunnyside Retirement Center had its parking lot completely repaved, and Frontier Paving was ahead of scheduled construction.
The residents and staff at Sunnyside gratefully and sincerely thank the county commissioners, Frontier Paving and entire surrounding neighborhood for their patience during our parking challenges. They’re all awesome.
Letter: Thanks to Aspen Thrift Shop for the supportDecember 1, 2013 —
We want to express our sincere thanks to the Aspen Thrift Shop for their generous grant to the Carbondale Community School and the Carbondale Middle School that allowed FCD facilitator Mike Connolly to visit our schools the week of Oct. 14. At the Community School, he worked with all the sixth- and eighth-graders. At the Carbondale Middle School, he worked with the entire seventh grade and the eighth-grade student mentors. Over the course of four days at our two schools, Mike met with over 130 students in two-hour informational sessions.
FCD is a nonprofit organization that provides substance-abuse prevention education for schools. This was the fourth year of this program at CCS and the first year at CMS. Their mission is to encourage and support the non-use of alcohol and other illegal or illicit drugs during the growing years; empower young people to make healthy, responsible choices regarding alcohol and other drug use; teach students and adults how to recognize the early warning signs of substance abuse and to intervene appropriately; educate students, parents, teachers, and administrators on the physiological and psychological effects of alcohol and other drugs; promote awareness of drug addiction, including alcoholism, as a progressive, chronic, and often fatal disease; and provide educational communities with the guidance and training necessary to implement comprehensive, effective approaches to substance abuse prevention.
In an evening meeting, Mike offered support to parents in helping their children enjoy a drug-free adolescence. Topics addressed included effective ways to communicate with your child about drugs and drug use; up-to-date facts about current drug use and trends; and how to spot early warning signs of trouble and effective ways to respond. Parental involvement is crucial to our efforts. We want our students to hear from both school and home that we are concerned about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use by adolescents, and that we are committed to keeping our children safe.
Thanks again to the Aspen Thrift Shop and their support of our schools! It is appreciated.
Principal, Carbondale Community School
Principal, Carbondale Middle School
Letters: RIDE fundraiser a huge successDecember 1, 2013 —
Riding Institute for Disabled Equestrians wants to give a huge thanks to Elk Creek Mining Co. and all the people in the community for supporting our fundraiser on Oct. 24. The restaurant was full the whole evening and a line formed outside for seating. These local fundraisers help us keep the quality that RIDE strives for in our program. We could not do it without the fantastic support of our community. Thanks to all the great sponsors for supporting our program,we are honored that you have taken us under your wings. Thanks to Tina Leyba and Tracy Masias and Gran Farnum Printing for making our great RIDE calenders for the year 2014. They are available at Tan Your Hide in Silt. Again, a big kudos to our community,
Director of RIDE
Letter: The oil and gas beat goes onDecember 1, 2013 —
On Nov. 25, the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado came out of the closet and held a public powwow at the Garfield County annex in Rifle that featured the cowboys, not the Indians, in a competition to beat the “oilngas jobs” drum. Gov. John Hickenlooper was the guest of honor. It was a steady rhythm and seemed to be music to the governor’s ears.
Mike Samson began with an introduction, and an earnest and off beat admission of the Garfield County expenditure of $200,000 to “disprove” the existing habitat maps for the sage grouse. Samson seemed to expect the governor to adjust his thinking about the bird specifically because of Garfield’s investment. In this drum circle, no expense in pursuit of the greater good of extraction revenue, is thought unworthy.
Our affable governor, who could charm the stripes off wallpaper, finally picked up his drum stick and chimed in with his oft repeated, “hate the split estate law but love the mineral owner” speech. People with these means cannot be deprived of their necessity to pollute because it would constitute a “taking.” This willingness to hide behind a destructive law; and the unwillingness to put health and continued purity of life-sustaining air and water, above the interests of extraction and money, is old news.
The governor praised CDOT for its excellent work connecting towns devastated on the Front Range by a storm on climate change steroids, but most every word (beat) was “rights” (read revenue), “deregulation” (read pollution), and “jobs” (read the blessed few remaining).
The exceptions were Commissioner Doug Monger of Routt County who spoke in defense of the Yampa River and Frank Breslin who asked for space to be made on bridges for vulnerable bikers. The public was not allowed to speak.
The air was veiled with pollution, visible haze in the sun, driving down I-70; this coming to a city near you.
Letter: Fire district in a precarious situationNovember 30, 2013 —
No New Taxes? This has always been popular rhetoric with taxpayers, no matter where they reside. We recently voted no to new taxes to benefit our children in the public school system. We OK’d taxes on pot — we figured only the fringe element of society would be impacted and it would benefit our children in the public schools. The majority of us voted no on a tax measure that covers the cost for fire and emergency services in the Carbondale Fire District.
Now I must admit the measure was perhaps presented poorly to the public and it may have had a better chance of passing had it included a sunset clause like the one presented and passed two years ago. I propose to the roughly 40 percent of the voting public who were in favor of the tax assessment to rise to the occasion and pay the tax voluntarily. I realize this is not how we generally operate when it comes to taxes, but it is legal. We can still deduct our “contribution” the same as other itemized deductions.
The fire district is in a precarious situation, having to create a budget with significantly reduced revenue. The proposed recommendation does not eliminate these problems for the fire district. They will not be able to account for these pledges, will not be able to send friendly reminders to the public and will only be able to include the money in the budget after it is received.
We who recognize the value of this public service can proactively show our support by contributing our portion of the tax.
Hopefully by the next election cycle the public will be better informed about the services provided by the fire district and the impact of revenue loss, and a better proposition will be presented that is more sensitive to the public’s concern for additional taxes.
Instead of just sitting back and enjoying no increase on our tax bill, we have the opportunity to think about what is best for the community. We have the freedom to support a public service we all depend upon.
Thomas J. Flynn
Letter: Does the First Amendment still apply in Obama’s America?November 30, 2013 —
Roger Cohen asks a significant question about journalist Glenn Greenwald in his column in The New York Times.
Cohen writes, “American society will also benefit from Greenwald’s ongoing revelations about out-of-control surveillance. He has testified before the Brazilian Senate, and should be allowed to testify before the U.S. Senate. Greenwald says, “I am definitely going back, I refuse to be exiled for a lie.”
“He deserves assurance that he can return to the United States without facing arrest,” Cohen writes.
So, what is it? Does the First Amendment still apply in Obama’s “Amerika”?
Can American journalist Greenwald return to his country without fear of President Obama’s “justice” department?
Letter: Martin is a career politicianNovember 28, 2013 —
This is in response to Jane Spaulding’s letter regarding “career politicians.” I agree with her when she said career politicians (she referred to Sen. Mark Udall) “no longer listens — or acts like he cares anymore.” Spaulding suggested getting rid of such types of politicians who seem no longer responsive to the public they serve.
I agree, and so it makes sense that we set term limits for our commissioners as some of them have become extreme career politicians. John Martin certainly comes to mind.
Letter: GOP acting in the interest of wealth and greedNovember 28, 2013 —
One percent of Americans own 40 percent of the stock market. When the number becomes 10 percent, they collectively own 90 percent of the stock market. That equates to total ownership of America: its property; large business; corporations and politics.
The political arm of that wealth is the wholly owned and controlled Republican Party. The professed agenda of that party includes: having the corporate-controlled Supreme Court endorse legislation that allows elections to be purchased; a nationwide attack on the voting rights of minorities and the poor, through the gerrymandering of voting districts and fraudulent attempts to purge voting lists; the crippling of American education: diluting the curriculum with trash science, religious dogma, the deprivation of funding and the stealth takeover of school boards by religious zealots.
Furthermore, in the fanatical attempt to make the first black president fail, they have obstructed and impeded the political and economic business of the country, caused the loss of billions of dollars in commerce, major damage to the worldwide perception of the United States as a rational nation and major loss in the prestige and authority of the office of the presidency. Acting in the interest of wealth and greed they have engineered the destruction of laws protecting citizens, the country and the world from the criminal behavior that led to the recent economic collapse. This is just the short list of the intentional damage done to our country solely for political/economic gain.
This week we have seen the images and heard the words of John F. Kennedy who inspired this nation and all of its people to greater harmony and a unity of honorable purpose to our nation’s endeavors. Among the current crop of bought and sold sleazy lobbyists, hangers-on and politicians of dubious loyalty to the nation in Washington today, not one would be fit to lick his shoes.
Wake up. Watch and listen to what’s happening. This is the greatest outright assault on democracy since the founding.
Robert W. Boyle
Letter: Thankful for my independenceNovember 27, 2013 —
This is a letter of gratitude to all who continually support me in achieving my goal of living independently in my lovely condo that I own and over 10 years ago and only pay $200 a month for in an association fee.
I was told renters are paying $1,200 a month for the same apartment. No wonder I’m grateful. My neighbors are so cooperative most of the time. Sincerity reigns. Even the bank manager at Alpine worries about me being blown over by increasing winds as I walk down the hill on Castle Valley Boulevard.
I am so very grateful to all who have given me rides, especially up the hill. Since in a few weeks I will attain the great age of 83 years young, (I say young because there is a local man who still skis at age 105), all I do is walk about two miles a day where it is flat.
Where but in America, the land of the free and the brave, could there be so much tolerance of an independent elderly woman living her dream daily. God Bless America, and happy Thanksgiving to all.
Letter: Thanks to businesses, RSVP volunteersNovember 27, 2013 —
Retired Senior Volunteers donated almost 30,000 hours of volunteer service to residents of Garfield County in 2012. These amazing volunteers helped seniors with their Medicare; filed their taxes; provided minor home repairs; taught Driver Safety Classes; mentored youth; cared for abandoned pets; served senior meals; delivered Meals on Wheels; and much, much more.
A huge “thank you” to these businesses and all RSVP volunteers — you are what make Garfield County such a great place to live, volunteer and play.
RSVP Program Director
RSVP Volunteer Coordinator
Letter: Way to go, New Castle!November 27, 2013 —
A special thank you goes out to all of our scouts, scout parents, and our fabulous community for the most successful food drive ever.
In one day, the New Castle Cub Scouts, Pack 221, collected over 4,000 pounds of food for Lift-Up. This is twice as much as our first few years, and one-third more than our best year (2012). That’s about one pound of donated food per man woman, and child. Way to go, New Castle. There isn’t another town that does caring and sharing as well as our town. All of you are the best of the best.
New Castle Cub Scouts, Pack 221
Letter: Veteran thanks students at GSHSNovember 27, 2013 —
Thank You Glenwood Springs High School student body. It is with my sincerest appreciation for honoring all of us military veterans at your presentation in the gym recently. As a veteran who proudly served this great nation, the spirit of American patriotism was recognized by myself and the other veterans, as alive and well as ever.
From the students who all spoke and thanked us, to the awesome patriotic songs played by the band and sung by the choir made my eyes water, and I am so proud to be honored this way.
This community should be proud of you all, and we can all be assured of ourselves that the young men and women of our future will continue to represent our awesome country as true patriots. As long as there are our youths like the Glenwood Springs High School students in America, we know we will always be the greatest country on this planet.
Thank you again, and God bless America!
A thankful vet
LETTER: Thanks to Udall for joining in support of Thompson DivideNovember 24, 2013 —
I’d like to thank Sen. Mark Udall for co-sponsoring a bill to protect the Thompson Divide with Sen. Michael Bennet.
Thank you … for demonstrating that the wild has a right to be.
Thank you … for your awareness of how damaging this change to our local economies would be: Our lives dependent on ranching, tourism, hiking, wildlife habitat and the crystal waters of its 15 watersheds. Calamitous.
Thank you … for realizing there are appropriate and inappropriate places for oil and gas development.
Thank you … for your determination and attention.
Go for it, Mr. Udall.
LETTER: Workers need to be respectedNovember 24, 2013 —
Winifred Richardson, you’ve must have not worked in a hospital or spent much time in doctors offices because medicine has been the domain of nurses for decades now. When I worked at a hospital (in the ’80s), without the nurses everything shuts down: proving a lot of those eight- to 12-year schooled doctors are as overpriced as lawyers and maybe as good a start as a thousand at the bottom of the sea.
The real issue here is not the Affordable Care Act or who we can pretend we are becoming but the issues we as the whole of western civilization refuse to address.
Foremost, it isn’t the monied, the opulent that matter? Truth is, if 80 percent of the 1 percent happened to die, it would matter very little, because their wealth wouldn’t even have to be redistributed, whereas if we lose more than 10 percent of the working class all forms of economic disaster will ensue. Because (like nurses) their wealth is in what they do.
So if you over-educated economist and policy wonks get the drift, maybe there is a chance you’ll shed that snobby self-assurance that’s hiding astute ignorance under an education, and see that it is imperative we do two things to make our false military industrial (worldwide) complex economy reflect reality and not the abstraction of easily manipulated statistics.
First, we need to stop treating the worker as an expense but as the infrastructure they in fact are. Secondly, we must change the law so a corporation’s first priority is their employees (this long-neglected infrastructure) rather than their stockholders.
They’re now legally individual so it’s high time they man-up and take up the responsibility of one. Like those who work for wages.
We could ignore these things. But not without consequence because we never did leave the Great Depression but put all hope in a war-economy. Something that to continue needs a stable enemy — which fly-by Obama is killing off single handedly.
You might dismiss this as something a fool will say. But of course this is the fool’s office: Retrieving integrity when it’s lost.
Letter: It’s time for the commissioners to listen to their constituentsNovember 23, 2013 —
The Garfield County commissioners have signed a letter of support for the South Bridge Environmental Assessment, opening the door even wider for oil and gas development via Four Mile Road. Their actions make it clear that Four Mile Road is closer than ever to becoming a haul-route for large trucks, most likely to support gas and oil development on Thompson Divide and in the Oak Meadows area. While I appreciate their verbal commitment to protect the Thompson Divide, the commissioners’ recent action stands in sharp contrast to their refusal to commit formally to closing Four Mile Road to oil and gas traffic.
The South Bridge Citizen’s Advisory Group was assured many times that a bridge connecting Midland Avenue with Highway 82 would serve only local and emergency traffic. Now project officials indicate that it could be designed to accommodate large truck traffic.
One by one, the pieces are falling into place:
• The commissioners’ continuing refusal to formally commit to closing Four Mile Road to oil and gas traffic;
• Four Mile Road widened and upgraded;
• A new million-dollar bridge at Oak Meadows;
• Proposed straightening of the Hogback Curve (aka Rocky Point, aka Deadman’s Curve);
• And now a proposed and possibly beefed-up $39,000,000 South Bridge.
Few if any Four Mile Road or Midland Avenue residents want the noise, fumes and hazards of heavy traffic. Those who work, ranch, hunt, hike or cycle shouldn’t have to contend with an industrial haul-route. It’s time for the Garfield County commissioners to listen to their constituents and retract their support for the South Bridge Environmental Assessment and to formally declare Four Mile Road closed to heavy oil and gas truck traffic.
Letter: ‘Tear down that website’November 23, 2013 —
To make my point regarding “Obummercare,” I was reminded of the title of a “far-off-Broadway” show that I saw in Los Angles many years ago, entitled “The Magic If.”
Today, this title appropriately emphasizes the absolute lack of representation that “we the people” have in regard to our overwhelming disapproval of the “Affordable Care Act” that has been dumped upon us by the wimps in Washington.
What “if” there was a “magic if” — If we had a person as courageous as one of the most respected leaders in the history of our country speak out on our behalf with conviction and dedication.
Back on June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan demanded of the Russian leader, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
Isn’t there anyone in our nation with the influence, or authority, or courage, or conviction or just plain guts to inject the “magic if “ and tell Obama to “tear down that website!”
Too bad there isn’t “a magic if.”
Letter: The difference between a politician and an ideologueNovember 22, 2013 —
Do you know the difference between a politician and an ideologue? The politician somewhat cares about representing what you think and want while the ideologue only cares about what he thinks.
That’s why Obama is the textbook narcissistic ideologue. Too bad the majority of real politicians in America don’t stand up and be heard. In recent weeks only one had the guts and fortitude to speak up for his constituents: Ted Cruz the senator from Texas ... and he was vilified for speaking against Obamacare (aka Affordable Care Act). But we all know now, he was right on.
So now we have a far-left ideologue president with little credibility who thinks everything he does is best for you and me. Like the Mexican gun running scheme; like the State Department lying about Benghazi; like arming the Muslim Brotherhood; like the military not getting their votes counted; like voter fraud in Ohio where 100 percent of some counties voted for Obama; like the NSA monitoring our personal correspondence; like the IRS targeting conservatives; like the DOJ spying on the press; like Health Secretary Sebelius shaking down the health care industry; like giving Solyndra $500 million dollars and then it goes bankrupt; like Obama threatening to impose gun control bypassing Congress; like the failure to submit a budget as required by constitutional law; like releasing 10,000 illegal immigrants from incarceration and blaming it on the sequester; like all the lies told to Congress by Hillary Clinton, IRS personnel, James Clapper and Eric Holder; like all the outright lies told to us, the American public, by President Obama in regard to selling “his” health care law that not one republican voted for.
That’s not all ... now our government wants to put black boxes in our vehicles so they can track us wherever we travel and tax us for it. And last but certainly not least, there are now many low information (stupid) American voters who were made dependent on the government by the Obama administration (51-plus million), who don’t pay taxes and get all kinds of free stuff, who screwed the rest of us by electing the most corrupt administration in U.S. history. It’s unbelievable how many people will not only sell their souls for a buck but their kids’ and grandkids’ souls also.
Letter: Palin in 2016? Comedians rejoiceNovember 22, 2013 —
With the latest news, that Sarah Palin may run for president in 2016, comedians of the world are celebrating free material once again.
LETTER: Drilling in Thompson Divide is inappropriateNovember 21, 2013 —
With hunting season here, locals and tourists alike are eagerly making their way into our state’s incredible backcountry to experience some of the best hunting our nation has to offer. And for those of us in the know, some of the best hunting is on a nearby parcel of public land that is the target of future oil and gas development — the Thompson Divide.
The Thompson Divide has been identified by the Colorado Division of Wildlife as high-value habitat and critical migration corridor for bear, lynx, moose, deer, elk and mountain lions. For many hunters like me, it doesn’t get better than this.
And the numbers bear that out. Each year, more than 20,000 big game tags are drawn on game management units that comprise the Thompson Divide. People from across Colorado and the nation choose to hunt in the Thompson Divide for the quality habitat and sportsmen opportunities the land provides. They spend money in local grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants. In sum, hunting and fishing opportunities in the Thompson Divide supports nearly 100 jobs and $8.3 million in spending to the local community.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the Thompson Divide will provide the sportsmen opportunities we have come to enjoy and expect. While I’m no tree-hugging hippy, I do believe there are certain places that are inappropriate for oil and gas drilling, and the Thompson Divide is one of those places.
Fortunately, there is a coalition of people from all walks of life working to protect the Thompson Divide and the livelihoods it supports. Most recently, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall joined the local effort by signing on as cosponsor of Sen. Bennet’s middle-road solution that protects private property rights and keeps the divide the way it is. It’s a commonsense solution that sportsmen like me ought to support.
I’d like to thank Sen. Udall for adding another name to an ever-expanding list of influential voices in support of protecting the Thompson Divide.
LETTER: Concerning my dogs …November 21, 2013 —
Reporter John Colson made an error in his piece re: my court date for a barking dog, and he knows what a stickler for the truth I am. I never said that my dogs don’t bark; I said that there are more than 27 dogs in a one block radius, and they all bark.
Also, I think we should call it the “unincorporated village of Satank.”
Editor’s note: The story states that hers are the only dogs in the neighborhood that wear bark collars while the area is “filled with dogs that bark all the time, and that her dogs are not among them.”
Letter: EPA’s war on coal comes to Colo.November 20, 2013 —
The EPA brought its war on coal to Colorado earlier this month. At a stop in Denver as part of a tour gathering input for their proposed carbon standards, the EPA reportedly heard from many northwest Colorado residents about what needless regulatory assaults on coal mean for the average person.
What it means, of course, is lost jobs, bills unpaid, small businesses shuttered, and a bleak future for the communities that dot this region. It also means higher electricity prices, at a time when everyone is just trying to make ends meet.
Opponents of the coal industry like to state that coal plants are responsible for 40 percent of the carbon generation in this country — what they fail to point out, however, is that number represents only about 4 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. I know I’m not comfortable destroying the livelihoods of hundreds of my fellow citizens, and jacking up the electricity rates on the rest, for 4 percent of the planet’s carbon dioxide.
What is going to replace that coal? We don’t have a major hydro-power capability like Washington state does. Natural gas produces a great amount of our electricity, but it cannot absorb the rest overnight. We have no nuclear power plants. Solar and wind are fine for individual, small scale use, but because they are intermittent and require expensive backup generation, they contribute less than 5 percent of American electrical generation, and are unlikely to ever be able to produce enough to replace coal generation.
The EPA needs to look at facts, not baseless, emotional anecdotes, or misplaced ideology, when it comes to regulating power plants. Northwest Colorado has some of the naturally cleanest coal anywhere, and many decades worth of supply, along with tremendous natural gas resources. We are already reeling in this area from attacks on our industries from all sides; the last thing we need is for the EPA to fire another, possibly fatal shot at our bow, especially for no empirically defensible reason.