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Recently, attention has been focused on the federal gas tax and the necessity of having that tax. The truth is that there no longer a need for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), whose current chief function is to pass tax money collected from the taxpayers back to the various state highway departments.

The federal gas tax should be eliminated and it should be left up to the states to increase state taxes enough to make up the difference. This would reduce the federal budget by some $40 billion and reduce the size of one federal agency.

The feds would no longer be able to threaten the loss of highway dollars because of some non-highway violation, such as too much dust somewhere. FHWA would become a minor agency within the U.S. Dept. of Transportation overseeing some necessary small programs.



The FHWA provided a needed service in the early days of highway history by developing standards, leading research and coordinating activities of the various state highway departments, up to the completion of the interstate system.

Since then, its primary responsibility has been to pass money back to taxpayers from whom it was collected. State departments of transportation are professional, well staffed, and able to take care of their programs. This waste of money needs to be stopped.



Dick Prosence

Meeker

I wanted to write and express my displeasure of the gas prices in Glenwood Springs. I paid up to $3.80 gallon and found gas on a day trip in the mountains for $3.35 per gallon. Someone is getting rich off the citizens in your city.

I don’t mind paying for gas, but not to line a greedy merchant’s pockets.

I will try and not buy gas in Glenwood Springs again until the city council decides to investigate why the gas prices are 50 cents higher than those in the surrounding communities.

Otherwise, thanks for the beautiful scenery for my family. I love your town.

Jim Hanson

Yuma, Ariz.

On July 25, Eco-flight of Aspen flew 18 University of Colorado at Boulder students enrolled in INVST Community Leadership Program over the Thompson Divide area to demonstrate the pristine beauty of the area and the need for protection from oil and gas development.

During the summers, the students in the program travel together for a month-long summer service learning experience. Their mission is to develop community leaders who are committed to working for social and environmental justice and sustainability.

The first of these experiences focuses on domestic issues, specifically those affecting the Rocky Mountain West. The students hear from a variety of perspectives concerning pressing questions related to energy production, transmission and consumption, as well as resource management and environmental and human impacts of strategies of preservation, conservation and various approaches to development.

As they gain first-hand experience of the complexity of these issues, students grapple with the ethical dimensions of the decisions we face as communities and as a society.

The Thompson Divide area was selected because of the need for protection from oil and gas development. There is currently a unitization proposal with the BLM, proposed by SG Interests, that would lead to development of 18 leases covering most of the 32,000 acres in the area. BLM will make a decision by the end of the year as to the future of these leases.

Thank you to Bruce Gordon, Jane Pargiter and John Eaton for their generosity and time in providing a unique experience for the students, and for bringing more awareness to the Thompson Divide Coalition.

For more information, please call (970) 355-4223 or info@savethompsondivide.org

Laurie Lindberg Stevens

Carbondale

Mary Boland’s “What Do We Really Want?” column of July 28 is anti-big industries – this time oil industries. Any big and productive industry could be next for it is standard anti-production Democrat procedure dictated by radical environmentalists of the Sierra Club ilk.

Boland’s column should be called “Left Angles,” for it is politically opposite James Kellogg’s conservative entrepreneurial column “Right Angles.”

Boland’s leftward bias is understandable, for she is a journalist and ex-school teacher. I hope, however, that she understands the nature and importance of entrepreneurs who, when denied the opportunity to explore America for needed natural resources, explore elsewhere, including Afghanistan.

The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 2006, published an article by Johan Norberg, “Humanity’s Greatest Achievement,” in which he writes about the risk-taking explorers known as entrepreneurs and their wide ranging fields of exploration including, but not limited to, politicians, physicists, engineers, geologists, medical doctors and the self-educated. Entrepreneurial success need not be fatal as George Washington found, but Abraham Lincoln did not.

American leadership in the world is due to its millions of entrepreneurs and numerical dominance of them in the future. The rest of the world has had and still has its share of entrepreneurs, such as Tamerlane and his world leading great-grandson scientist, a Muslim. England had Isaac Newton and France, Louis Pasteur.

In our home county we have the entrepreneurial thinking of “Right Angles” and blind bias of “Left Angles.”

Dooley P. Wheeler, Jr.

Rifle


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