We should develop hydropower | PostIndependent.com

We should develop hydropower

Out on a Limb
Ross L. Talbott
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

An interesting aspect of living in Central Western Colorado is the continual arm wrestling over land use and water.

Water wars I can understand. Without irrigation water agriculture would virtually disappear.

It was not uncommon in the past for someone to be beaten to death with an irrigation shovel.

Today, the big concern is over the fish, frogs and other stream-related wildlife. Nuts to the farmers. We can ship our food in from China.

California dried up thousands of acres of productive farm land to supposedly save some little minnow.

Our nation is buying energy from countries that support terrorists while we refuse to tap one of the greatest sources of clean and renewable energy. Colorado alone could generate enormous amounts of electricity from water power, but recreation seems to trump that potential.

Shoshone power plant is an incredible example of that unlimited source of cheap, non-polluting energy.

The power of falling water is just awesome!

You might prefer huge wind turbines sticking up on our mountain tops, but remember that when the wind stops the water is still flowing.

Think of the incredible recreation potential of a series of dams and hydro plants. In fact the water park could have been built at the discharge of a couple of huge turbines.

Look at it this way. Did you ever try to water ski on a coal train?

Which is more environmentally intrusive, an open pit coal mine or a beautiful lake?

Don’t misunderstand my sarcasm. I am not against coal production and use. I just don’t follow the logic of those who complain about coal but flip the light switch just like everyone else and can’t see the logical alternative.

Coal will not last forever so we should be actively working on the next step.

America will continue to weaken in world influence unless we devise a strategy to free ourselves of dependency on other nations.

We drive manufacturing and food production overseas by excessive taxation and regulation.

We buy the large majority of our petroleum from other countries, some of whom are our enemies.

At the same time we forbid industry access to our own huge resources such as the Bakken oil formation in North Dakota and Montana.

Developing our own resources would not only free us from dependency on other nations but would create a host of new jobs.

Our nation’s balance of trade is way in the negative.

Just think what lower fuel prices and cheaper energy would do to stimulate our economy. Now there’s a stimulus package that really makes sense.

Good sense and logic are the true endangered species.

Personal sensibilities are the greatest block to common sense. You can quote that.

Remember the plan to extract minerals from the hot springs water in Glenwood.

Such a plant would have created a product, generated tax revenue, created jobs and improved the quality of the Colorado River. Improving the water alone would have benefited agriculture and domestic use from here to the Pacific Ocean.

The whole project was quashed because the truck traffic it would have generated offended someone’s sensibilities.

The definition of sensibility, I’m using here from Webster is, “refined sensitiveness in emotion and taste with especial responsiveness to the pathetic.”

Our economy in this valley is really hollow. By that I mean that the foundational activity of providing recreation and entertainment creates nothing of real value but is predominantly narcissistic.

The limestone quarry is gone, the mines are shut down and agriculture is being swallowed up by urbanization.

Both mineral extraction and hydropower would create real wealth production and guarantee the future locally and nationally.

Where the heck did I store my kayak?

Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle.

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