Representing the citizens?
In February, more than 200 people packed the Garfield County hearing room, urging Commissioners John Martin, Larry McCown and Tresi Houpt to support the Community Alternative for Roan Plateau. Martin assured the overflow crowd, which was spilling into the street, that our concerns had been heard and would be taken into account. Now, as the county formalizes its position, Commissioners Martin and McCown are refusing to consider this compromise, claiming it was not in the Bureau of Land Management’s draft plan.
Instead, Commissioners Martin and McCown are embracing a proposal by the Department of Natural Resources that would immediately lease all the lands in the planning area for energy development. And while ideas in the DNR proposal are appropriate for up to two-thirds of the area, it is not appropriate for all of the planning area, including the public lands on top, scenic cliff faces, local watersheds, and secure wildlife areas. Protecting these sensitive places is precisely what an overwhelming majority of comments have consistently supported over the past four years.
The DNR proposal recommends ideas never considered by BLM for Roan Plateau. So, it seems odd that Commissioners Martin and McCown would embrace the DNR proposal ” which is not in the draft plan ” while rejecting the Community Alternative, which is based on elements in the draft and supported by a clear majority of citizens and area governments.
I understand that consistency is not a requirement for elected office, but it looks a lot like some officials are just looking for excuses.
Touring the Houston Astrodome with her husband, Barbara Bush declared it a success for evacuees “who were underprivileged anyway,” saying that they were faring better than before the storm (New York Times, Sept. 6). Does she ask herself why? She may be partly correct, although the evacuees may not all agree with her, having lost all their worldy goods along with some friends, family members and community.
During her son’s administration, poverty is increasing.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the poverty rate rose again last year, with 1.1 million more Americans living in poverty.
The United States ranks 43rd in the world in infant mortality ” in Washington, 11.5 per 1,000 live births, compared to 4.6 in Beijing.
Nationally, 29 percent of children had no health insurance; many got no check-ups or vaccinations.
The Bush administration has redistributed wealth from the most vulnerable to the most affluent Americans.
In the meantime, Mr. Bush has promised huge new amounts of money for reconstruction, in addition to the already huge amount being spent in waging war abroad. He has done all this and is and cutting taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans as well.
Does anyone remember the billions promised to Africa a few years ago to fight AIDs? Not a penny of that has reached the continent.
It certainly is difficult to believe anything this Bush and his people tell us.
Jane and Richard Veit
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