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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

In its April 18 editorial, “A slower, measured approach to oil shale is the better choice,” the Post Independent noted that the 2008 oil shale plan by the BLM was problematic because it “did not require research and development before energy companies could proceed to commercial development.”

I agree, although equally troublesome is the move by commissioners in Garfield, Rio Blanco, Mesa and Moffat counties to push the BLM to open more acres to oil shale development. Left out of this discussion was the compensation issue: How will the government be paid for the use of our public lands?

Private mineral rights leases are for a short length of time, include a bonus for signing, a fee per acre per year, a renewal option, a bonus for renewing and identification of the royalty to be paid when production starts. The bonus for signing and the amount per acre per year for the length of the lease are paid when the lease is closed. In short, there is positive revenue that can be gained from leasing of public lands if done in the right way.



Unfortunately, the U.S. government receives some of the lowest royalty rates in the world. We will not pay our debt by giving away our resources.

After reviewing the Department of Interior’s latest plans for its oil shale program and attending a field hearing in Silt, I am convinced that its recommendation to lease reduced acreage is prudent. It simply is not good business to commit way more resources than are required before anyone knows if a financially viable approach can be found.



Contact your county commissioners and ask them to rescind their recommendation, examine the compensation package and explain it to the public before they make a recommendation.

Joe Livingston

Meeker

We are fifth-grade students in Summit County. We are concerned with the rainforest deforestation dilemma. We are writing this letter in hopes of raising awareness of the impact of this devastation on our generation and future generations.

Rainforest deforestation is an issue not only for the wildlife inhabiting the rainforest, but for humans across the globe. Although it’s not a commonly known fact, rainforests provide resources used in everyday life all over the world.

For example, 25 percent of all medicines known to civilization have at least one ingredient that originated in the rainforest. Rainforests are also a source of oxygen. Regions without rainforests have less oxygen, likely because of the lack of trees.

The trees are also vital to our clean water supply. When the trees are cut down, we lose valuable filters that provide our Earth with clean water. Deforestation likely contributes to water crises around the world.

Many commodities stem from the rainforest, too. Products like lumber, chewing gums, rubber, strings, fuel, paint and wood finishing are routinely elicited from the rainforest. If the trees are cut down, then we will no longer be able to enjoy these luxuries.

We hope that you will take action and save the rainforest now, because each tree that is cut down in vain is one less minute for your children and grandchildren to live.

Some websites where visitors can take action are: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org and http://www.worldlandtrust-us.org

Nathan Berry, Elizabeth Browne, Kayla Fulkerson, Jasmine Purcell, Ayleen Soto

Summit Cove Elementary

Silverthorne


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