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Post IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Now that the Dow is at an all-time high and Wall Street is making more money than ever before, I would like to ask all the Conservatives out there, especially the worshippers of President Reagan: When will all this prosperity trickle down? When are the “job creators” going to invest in America and start creating jobs?Dan BokenkoGlenwood Springs

Opportunities to substantially reduce emission of so called “greenhouse” gas and at the same time promote private sector investment and create new jobs are rare. On Feb. 13, I watched just such an opportunity squandered in a state Senate committee hearing room in Denver.Senate Bill 13-003 introduced by our state Senate District 8 Sen. Randy Baumgardner would have provided for elimination of millions of cubic feet of methane (natural gas) that now escapes every year into the atmosphere from abandoned coal mines near Paonia. The coal mine methane would have been burned to generate electricity. Those fearful of global warming believe methane and carbon dioxide significantly contribute to warming. The EPA says methane’s heat-trapping properties are 21 times greater than carbon dioxide. Senate Bill 13-003 would simply have allowed for renewable energy credits to Colorado electric cooperatives purchasing the electricity from the coal mine methane to help them meet their state-mandated minimum requirements. There would be no cost to Colorado taxpayers. Construction and operation of the methane gathering and electric generation facility would have resulted in private sector capital investment and new jobs. I testified before the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee at the capitol on Feb. 13 in favor of passing SB 13-003. At the end of my testimony I asked the committee how this bill could not be treated favorably given the tons of methane it would eliminate from the atmosphere while creating jobs and stimulating the economy. To me, passage made common sense.The bill was killed by the committee along strict party lines with three Democrat votes rejecting it and two Republicans voting in favor.Recently, in Colorado, fear has been raised by those fighting against oil well drilling that tiny wisps of methane might escape from drilling and production operations. Senate Bill 13-003 would have eliminated thousands of times more methane than could possibly have resulted from drilling operations.Our elected representatives had an excellent opportunity to promote jobs and benefit the environment and they rejected it. Where is the common sense?Chuck McConnell Steamboat Springs

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