Planned Parenthood is complaining about not receiving its mandated county sales tax monies. PP assumed that it would be allotted the money just because it's entitled.
When the funding was to be budgeted for 2013, several concerned citizens, including myself, attended the open meeting of the county commissioners. We stood in front of them with our concerns, and objected to the funding of PP. There was not one person from PP to voice their need for money. I'd like to think our combined voices made that difference.
The public does not realize that the Planned Parenthood Clinic in West Glenwood is not a free clinic. Women's birth control methods cost on a sliding scale of $0.60 for condoms to birth control implants costing $775. Birth control pills cost $15 to $50 a month. The morning after pill (the oops pill) is $34 to $38. The abortion pill costs $300 to $800. (A doctor has to be present in case of complications.) Clinical abortions cost $300 to $950. (These costs are from the PP website.)
Planned Parenthood does not want you to know that it performs abortions, nor does it want you to know how many they do every week. I think PP does a disservice to women and girls, not only with their minds, but their bodies as well.
To say that designating money to one procedure and not another is bogus. I don't know about you, but I have but one pocket to extract money from. PP doesn't need our county sales tax dollars, when it is a very profitable abortion clinic.
I applaud and thank our Garfield County commissioners, or as one letter-writer recently called them, "old white men," for doing the right thing. I wonder if our commissioners were women, would they be called "old white women?" Would that be tolerated? I think not.
Abortions are not a form of birth control and shouldn't be used as such.
There is no war on women. There is, however, a war on the unborn.
On Dec. 31, The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) staff released a proposal to increase the distance between well sites and buildings to 500 feet anywhere.
For wells within 1,000 feet of a building, operators would be required to notify neighbors and employ measures to address dust, noise, odor and lighting. Operators would also be required to hold a hearing before the COGCC for any well to be located less than 1,000 feet away from high-occupancy buildings, e.g. schools or hospitals.
While some, including COGCC Director Matt Lepore, view this as a meet-in-the-middle gesture to satisfy the needs of all stakeholders, many others don't agree.
Coloradans should not be made to sacrifice our public health and communities at the altar of oil and gas development. Heavy industry does not belong in residential areas, near schools or businesses. I believe setbacks should be 1,000 feet anywhere. This is a safety issue as well as a public health issue.
Current setbacks - 150 feet in rural areas and 350 feet urban areas - are dangerous. Explosions, leaks and spills have happened and will happen again; rigs have tipped over and will tip over again. Lepore admits the 500-foot setbacks aren't meant to address health concerns, and he never mentions safety, water or air quality.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the Colorado Petroleum Association seek to block citizen testimony at the eleventh hour and demand scientific evidence. Yet scientific studies, such as the Battlement Mesa Health Impacts Assessment and the Mamm Creek groundwater studies, which support citizens' testimonies, have been suppressed and never brought to the table for discussion.
It's time for Gov. Hickenlooper to be a leader and require the oil and gas industry to adopt rational, common-sense protections for our citizens and the environment.