As I read the Jan. 11 editorial in the Post Independent “Trustees must explain Jensen’s severance package,” I was stunned at the hypocrisy of the PI’s editorial statements. While I certainly agree with the premise of this particular editorial, how can Publisher Stephanie Schaffer, Editor Heather McGregor and News Editor Charlie Wertheim (the PI’s editorial board) slam the CMC trustees for “paying Jensen a severance that is three times more than is specified in Jensen’s contract” and yet give a complete pass to Garfield County commissioners John Martin, Mike Samson and Tom Jankovsky and County Manager Andrew Gorgey for using taxpayer cash to purchase the Worrell & Durrett building Glenwood Springs for $2.55 million when the appraised value was only $1.09 million?Instead of the Garfield County commissioners using the condemnation process to acquire the Worrell & Durrett building for the appraised value and thus save the taxpayers $1.4 million, Martin, Samson, Jankovsky and Gorgey squandered the $1.4 million by paying 240 percent of the appraised value.How is it that the CMC trustees are being hammered by the PI’s editorial board for overpaying Jensen by $320,000, but the same editorial board gave Martin, Samson, Jankovsky and Gorgey a pass for wasting $1.4 million of the same taxpayers’ money? Carl Mc WilliamsSilt
Concerning the Jan. 8 article “Producing more power means using more water,” it is rather ironic that the BLM would refer to the “unproven technology” of oil shale development, when it is the actions of that agency that are preventing the proving of such technology.It is incredible that anyone could think that making available only tiny, widely separated plots would be in any way conducive to genuine, productive research.Furthermore, is national energy policy really to be determined by what some bureaucrat with the BLM “thinks” is feasible? What qualifies the BLM to be the arbiter of what makes a “feasible” energy extraction technology? Is that not better determined by a company’s engineers and petro physicists? If such an officious approach were applied in the 1800s, we would never have had the electric light bulb, telephone or the airplane.We should not be making economic public policy based on what some agency “suspects.” Policy should be based on solid information, the kind of information that the BLM is curtailing collection of by restricting access to the land where the research needs to take place.The solution is not yet another government agency, which would be little more than another black hole for taxpayer dollars, but for existing agencies to stop being impediments to research and growth.Marilyn OdenRifle
With Euro-zone unemployment reaching 11.8 percent, it should be obvious that a consumer economy cannot thrive under austerity measures. Yet still we have the Republican Party clinging to supply-side economics, that salvation will come from deregulated business and federal austerity, both of which ignore that depressed wages, unemployment and the concentration of wealth clog the flow of money necessary for a healthy economy. Further, Social Security and Medicare are not entitlements. They are nonprofit insurance programs into which we pay. Corporate golden parachutes, CEO compensation, and loopholes in the tax code favoring the rich and powerful are the real entitlements of a government controlled by the rich and powerful. Presumably we are not yet an aristocracy.Robert PorathBoulder
In reference to the Jan. 8 article on the “energy-water nexus,” the only thing standing in the way of U.S. energy independence that would result from the development of oil shale, and answers to the water-related question that may arise from such development, is the U.S. government.The BLM recently finalized a new land use plan for oil shale that effectively precludes any further substantive research and development of this tremendous resource. The article talks about oil shale technology being “unproven,” and raises questions regarding water usage, but fails to mention that the biggest roadblock to conducting the testing and studies necessary to answer these questions, and fine-tune the extraction technologies, is the fact that the federal government has declared most of the land sitting atop oil shale off limits, leaving the industry ridiculously insufficient acreage to do any meaningful R&D work.This hands off approach to public land management has far-reaching consequences for both the economy and the environment. The economic impacts are fairly obvious to most – the denial of productive, local energy jobs and income, the deprivation of revenue, and the loss to the nation of a valuable domestic energy source. But the environmental detriments of not even allowing needed research to be carried out can be just as debilitating over the long run.As the article points out, there is a wide variance in opinion regarding how much water oil shale production may use. If we are to make sensible, knowledge-based decisions about energy production, conservation and economic development, we need to know the facts – and we will never know the answers if we continue to lock down public lands and prevent R&D.Carrie CoueySilt
In Hal Sundin’s column of Jan. 3, he states that the founding fathers were afraid of native Americans. That is as far from the truth as you can get.What they were afraid of was a central government that would step on their rights, just like the one they just overthrown. All you have to do is read their writings. It would be a good history lesson, not only on the Second Amendment but also the rest. Joseph CeremugaNew Castle
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The BLM will conduct an environmental assessment of the proposed wells needed to begin the NEPA process on the larger quarry expansion.