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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The historical Samuel Adams has long been listed as a patriot or a fire-brand nut job. It is difficult to ascertain if he was truly for colonial rights or if he was similar to a modern day media-enhanced crackpot expressing his own form of rhetoric. He is credited with instigating the tea party raid.

Regarding the famous Boston Tea Party, I find this description on Wikipedia:

“In May 1773, the British Parliament passed the Tea Act tax law to help the struggling East India Co., Britain’s most important commercial institution. Because of the heavy taxes imposed on tea imported into Great Britain, Britons could buy smuggled Dutch tea more cheaply than the East India Company’s tea, so the company amassed a huge surplus of tea that it could not sell.

“The British government’s solution to the problem was to sell the surplus in the colonies. The Tea Act permitted the East India Co., for the first time, to export tea directly to the colonies, bypassing most of the merchants who had previously acted as middlemen. This measure was a threat to the American colonial economy because it granted the tea company a significant cost advantage over local tea merchants and even local tea smugglers, driving them out of business.

“The act also reduced the taxes on tea paid by the company in Britain, but kept the controversial Townshend Duty on tea imported in the colonies. News of the Tea Act set off a firestorm of protest in the colonies. This was not a dispute about high taxes: The price of legally imported tea was actually reduced by the Tea Act.”

Some historians state that the original Tea Party mobs were hired thugs, not patriots, and their goal was to protect the investments of local traders, not a strike against taxation. Additionally, the colonists were still demanding Britain provide security and other colonial benefits. The costs were soaring and Britain was having a serious funding problem; the cost of services versus the ability to pay for them.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Rick Davis

Glenwood Springs

Mr. Neubecker’s My Side column of May 2 had some good points, but unfortunately perpetuated a number of myths surrounding oil shale development.

First he quotes an annual figure of around 330,000-plus acre feet of water needed for an oil shale industry. The most recent study by the consulting firm AMEC for the Colorado, White and Yampa River Roundtables published in February, titled “Energy Water Needs Assessment Phase II Final Report,” places the high-end estimate for water demand at 110,000 acre feet. But that overstatement is almost immaterial.

It is the sensationalizing of what oil shale might do to Western Colorado that is so troubling. If an industry develops from the current research projects, it will take decades to get up to perhaps 5 to 10 percent of the nation’s annual demand for petroleum. During that time, research will likely reduce water needs.

I agree with Mr. Neubecker that oil shale is not the silver bullet that will bring us energy independence. Neither will one windmill, one solar cell, one coal-to-liquids facility, or one biofuels plant. We should proceed with all of them, including more conservation, to moderate the world oil supply-demand gap and higher gasoline prices that experts are predicting.

Why condemn the development of this huge domestic energy source before it has a chance to get started? It could help our national energy security, provide local jobs and spur the economy if one or more of the current research and development programs are found to be economically and socially acceptable. Personally I would rather see the water used here on our side of the mountains to aid our economy rather than sending more and more of it to the Eastern Slope.

Glenn Vawter

Glenwood Springs

It was with complete disgust that I read John Colson’s article, “Garfield County commissioners terminate Battlement health assessment before completion,” in the May 3 edition of the Post Independent.

The decision by this board of county commissioners not to complete the Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment, which was requested by hundreds of Battlement Mesa residents, is appalling. It demonstrates their disregard for the health and safety of their constituents as well as their complicity with the oil and gas industry.

I urge the citizens of Garfield County to demand the immediate resignation of this board of county commissioners. We deserve better.

Ron Galterio

Battlement Mesa

Water should be the most important and most well-guarded resource that we have in Colorado and the West. Water is especially more important than oil shale and tar sands development here in the West.

Our precious water supplies are already disappearing rapidly with population growth. Oil shale development will waste millions of acre-feet of water in this development that is being pushed by the BLM.

Yes, being pushed by the BLM. BLM pushes most of the energy development in this country on behalf of the big energy companies.

Tar sands is a devastating environmental nightmare. I have followed tar sands development for almost 40 years, and big oil has never come close to making it either scientifically or economically viable.

This proposed development of 2 million acres is nothing more than another gimmick by big oil to gain another sizable tax write-off.

Basically, all that these two far-off energy sources have been for decades is millions and billions of lost tax dollars. We, as a country, can no longer afford the subsidies and lost tax dollars for these two long-time bogus energy schemes.

BLM has a long history of ignoring the environmental concerns voiced by taxpayers who pay their salaries. Overall, BLM staff have forgotten who pays their salaries. It is almost like they have two salaries, one from us and one from big oil. BLM is the best example of a federal agency being bought and paid for by big energy companies.

I am very disappointed that our own Colorado native, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, would even consider opening these Western lands to oil shale and tar sand development. Has he now been bought and paid for by the big energy companies?

Randy Fricke

New Castle

Another door has been slammed in our faces by the Garfield County commissioners, who have “terminated” the Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment.

This health study for the residents of Battlement Mesa was funded by the county, and thousands of dollars and countless hours were spent gathering information by the Colorado School of Public Health.

Commissioner John Martin kept prolonging the process by delaying the final draft, citing many excuses as to the findings.

I am very disappointed and worried that our county officials do not care about the residents of Garfield County. This sends a very clear message that health and safety are not a priority for the three commissioners. How disappointing to all of us.

We should all be outraged and send letters, make phone calls and send emails urging them to reconsider. I urge every citizen of this county to stand up and voice your displeasure to our county commissioners. If they are not willing to listen to the scientific findings, then what else are they hiding? Shame on you, Mr. Martin, Mr. Samson and Mr. Jankovsky.

Let’s just all hope that they will not be in office much longer. Please get involved, the time is now!

Nikki Fender


The 2008 and 2010 Garfield County commissioner elections and Monday’s unanimous vote terminating the Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment are outstanding examples of the contemporary version of the Golden Rule: “Those who have the gold, rule.”

Dana Barker


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