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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

In response to Michael Gorman’s April 30 letter regarding oil shale development, perhaps a bit of clarification or perspective is needed.

Yes, oil processing does “use” large amounts of water. However, much of that water can be treated, through processes such as reverse osmosis, to reuse or even discharge back into streams.

The notation that development would use 50 percent more water than the Denver Metro area can be equated to about 70,000-acre feet per year. Ruedi Reservoir has an average capacity of about 200,000 acre-feet per year, about one-third of what normally flows out of Ruedi (as a single source).

Furthermore, regarding a 100 percent surface disturbance, oil shale is not strip-mined. It is normally processed either through underground mining or “in situ” processes with surface facilities for processing.

I also question Mr. Gorman’s claim that oil shale development would produce 1 million barrels of oil per day. That is 47 million gallons per day, 15.3 billion gallons per year. Most refineries in the U.S. are far below that number, usually in the 200,000 to 400,000 barrels-per-day range.

By the way, Unocal’s oil shale facility of the 80s and 90s near Parachute processed 10,000 barrels per day. It was mothballed and reclaimed due to the high cost of processing. Unocal’s CEOs, Fred L. Hartley and Richard Stegemeier, stated that “to make oil shale processing and development profitable, oil prices would need to be in the $36 per barrel range.”

I should note that Unocal was western Colorado’s second largest polluter. Comparing a commercial processing facility to local businesses such as trucking companies, bookstores and orchards is hardly comparing apples to apples.

Compare oil shale and ski resort pollution. In 2009, skier days topped 60 million. Say that 6 gallons of gas were used per skier per day. That’s 363,000,000 gallons of gas burned by skiers. Skiing is most likely the largest polluter here in Colorado – not bad for a “clean” industry.

New developments in technology, better environmental controls and responsible operators will play key roles in development with regulated emissions and a safeguard for our wonderful lands.

Stuart K. Cerise

West Valley City, Utah

There is one remaining act of bravery that would be proof positive of the wisdom and especially the courage of the commander in chief, President Obama.

Ever since he decided that it is inappropriate to show photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse, we’ve been bombarded by the media with videos of the compound in Abbottabad, the scene where justice finally prevailed.

It appears that throngs of people are flocking there and that many of the natives may be trying to turn bin Laden’s hideout into some kind of Muslim shrine.

Isn’t it only logical to take action to “desecrate” this pretentious piece of real estate for exactly what it is, the hell hole haven for history’s most vicious killer?

There’s no need for five or six meetings with military advisers, nor to sleep overnight to ponder the consequences. All it takes is a command decision to destroy the compound.

Simply evacuate the facility, remove people from the immediate area and bomb the place to smithereens, leaving bin Laden’s lair as devastated as he left our World Trade Center.

Instead of a monument, let this place be the Muslim terrorist’s Ground Zero as a constant reminder of our vigilance to obtain justice, and as a tribute to the brave Navy SEALs and their successful mission.

Richard Doran


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