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This response is addressed to Stuart K. Cerise’s letter in the March 7 edition of the Post Independent.

Wasn’t the drilling that took place up Four Mile done prior to the 2005 Energy Appropriation Bill? If so, I can see why it may have worked fine then, but things have changed. Allowing moratoriums on the oil and gas industry to uphold the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, CERCLA, the Superfund Act, Clean Air Act and NEPA provides our citizens, wildlife and land no protection, and I feel that is the concern here. We, as citizens, should be looking beyond traffic, road damage and noise.

This is exactly why this issue is so important. We must seek the big picture when discussing situations of such nature (pun intended). Wildlife and livestock rely on the safety of Four Mile creek for survival.



Sunlight Mountain Resort is an existing business that already has its own impacts on the land, so why consider further degradation in this area? We have to start looking at ecosystem, economic and social impacts to determine if the land can even support an increase in activity and if it would benefit the whole.

Air quality will be greatly affected, from more than traffic. The oil and gas industry is not required to use recapturing devices even though the technology exists. Therefore, when volatile organic compounds and nitrous oxide are released from drilling and meet with sunlight, they create ground-level ozone. The industry is also not required to cover its wastewater pits, allowing migratory species in drilling areas to be at risk.



I agree with Mr. Cerise that moderation and control are important, although so is safety through regulation. If the industry does not operate safely, how can it be in control? Hydraulic fracturing allows one pad every 10 acres; with up to 30 wells off each pad (we are told). Each well can be fractured up to 10 times, creating up to 300 mini-earthquakes per pad. The moderation seems to be lacking here. Until proper regulation is enforced, this is not a viable project for our community.

Lacy King

Glenwood Springs

The Second Amendment does not give individuals the right to keep and bear arms. That right comes from the creator (or, if you prefer, because of our humanity) and is unalienable, meaning that the right cannot be removed, surrendered, traded or aliened (put a lien against it) to, for, or by any other person or entity.

To say that the government gives individuals rights implies that they can also take those rights away. That is false.

All rights come from God and our human existence.

The Second Amendment of our Constitution is the U.S. government’s promise that they will spend blood and treasure defending us from anyone who would try to remove our God-given right to own, possess and carry firearms.

Edward Wilks

Rifle

We, Girl Scout Troop 253 of Rifle, would like to express our viewpoints on environmental concerns on the oil and gas industry.

Our opinion on this hot topic is we are supporting the oil and gas industry. However, we aren’t supportive of the oil and gas industry taking over the environment.

We support the oil and gas industry because it provides jobs, and is important to the economy, also in bringing in money for locals, and allows us to be less dependent on foreign sources in oil and gas companies, and it has provided growth. The growth has provided us opportunities for businesses. We are thankful for the oil and gas industries.

However, we are against the oil industry in some ways as well. We have reasons to not support it because it interrupts the natural habitats and migration patterns of animals such as deer and elk that live in this area of Colorado. It also makes the mountains look more rugged and ugly, and many people come to this area for rock climbing and scenic areas.

Not only that, people could be affected as well. There have been fracking incidents where drilling chemicals get into the water, and it causes environmental harm as well as harm to the people. It has been known to cause multiple types of cancer, and the water looks more like sludge than water.

In our opinion, we should work the oil industry like the people did with wheat fields in the past. For example, take oil rigs in Wyoming and Colorado. One year, the Colorado oil rigs could drill and the Wyoming rigs could not, and they would trade off drilling when the year is over.

We thank you greatly for taking the time to read our letter. We worked hard to get all the conflicting views of our Girl Scout Troop into this letter and are happy you took the time to read it.

Sharon Pritt, Anna Pritt, Ashton Collett, Brittany Neuroth, Emily Neuroth, Cheyenne Hicks and Becca Maes

Girl Scout Troop 253

Rifle

I wonder if the comments made by Bill Maher about Sarah Palin and other conservative women offended the local and national liberals as much as the comments made by Rush Limbaugh about Democratic activist Sandra Fluke.

Maher called Ms. Palin unprintable words. He also described Ms. Palin and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann as “boobs” and “two bimbos.”

He stated the following about Sarah Palin: “She is not a mean girl. She is a crazy girl with mean ideas.”

If this were not enough, he recently made a joke about Rick Santorum’s wife and a vibrator.

I cannot even imagine the uproar by the left and the lapdog media if any of this would have been said about Michelle Obama by anyone on the right. Also, before anyone starts trying to claim he is just a comedian, so it is not the same, stop. Maher has described himself as a political commentator, so the same rules must apply. Not to mention, he has given more than $1 million to the Obama campaign.

I guess in the end it is the same old double standard from the left. They fall all over themselves if something derogatory is said about one of them, but the silence is deafening when the tables are turned. I guess the hypocritical nature of the liberals will never end.

Doug Meyers

Glenwood Springs

On my way to Glenwood Springs High School, I pass two dispensaries. I see two ads for medical cannabis while reading the local paper in the morning. I pass one dispensary before I cross the Grand Avenue bridge, and another just down the road.

In the paper I can always count on finding an article or an ad about medical marijuana. “Valley teen: Marijuana is ‘widely available.'” That article sure grabbed my attention. The article talked about a student in Carbondale and his dance with the medical marijuana epidemic. When asked where he would get his supply, he stated, “[My provider] would go down to the dispensary once or twice a week and get his marijuana, then he’d give it to me.”

In the local news briefs on March 8, another headline nabbed my attention: “Teen arrested for Carbondale dispensary break-in.” If you ask me, these dispensaries are nothing but trouble.

A group of us students at GSHS have been studying public policy. We are not out to say that marijuana should be legal or illegal. That’s a lost argument.

We are looking into ways that medical marijuana could be better distributed. The main thing we have found when we asked our peers, “Do you think, upon seeing medical marijuana dispensaries, that marijuana is becoming socially acceptable?” is that 80 percent of the time, the answer was yes.

We have come up with a policy idea in which medical marijuana would be distributed through a pharmacy, like every other prescription medication. It would be given in a regulated dose with the information on usage as well as the patient’s name on the prescription bottle. It would be handled by licensed pharmacists, and could only be obtained by prescription from a licensed doctor local to the patient’s area of residence.

There would be less chance of abuse going unnoticed, it would follow the same guidelines as any other prescription drug, and be viewed, as it should be, strictly as a prescription drug.

Kayla Kline

Glenwood Springs

The barrier to oil shale is the same as it has been for 100 years, the rock itself. Yet the oil industry wants more of our land and tax dollars for their experiments.

For more than 100 years, the government and the oil industry have promised oil shale rocks in western Colorado would soon be gushing with oil. Yet all those promises have rung hollow, as every single oil shale project in the state has ultimately failed.

Despite that awful legacy, more and more folks are demanding we open our public lands to oil companies, which already have leases on thousands of acres.

Promises of prosperity come with little memory of the past or even the present, since oil companies are still nowhere nearing commercial oil shale production. Indeed, Exxon has recently said it might be another decade before that may even occur.

Like anyone who has suffered through an oil shale bust, we all know that the barrier to oil shale is the same as it has been for 100 years – the rock itself. Before we start opening more of our public lands to the oil shale development, let’s make the companies that will profit off them prove their technologies. We’ll be better off in the long run.

Ward Johnston

Grand Junction


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