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Post IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

James Kellogg has gone out of his way to paint solar energy with the brush of hypocrisy. He informs us of the mining involved in making solar panels, touting the “rare earth” quality of the common materials used to make the panels, copper, nickel, silver and titanium dioxide. A quick search of numerous sources would have shown him the “rare” descriptor is more appropriate for a steak than his false assertion. Silver is used in medicine, jewelry, photography, mirrors and optics, dentistry, electronics, clothing and currency.Nickel is used in stainless steel, magnets, coins, rechargeable batteries, electric guitar strings and as an alloy with many metals.Copper is used in plumbing, wiring, ceramics, glass making, coins, cookware and gutters. It has been mined for centuries.Titanium dioxide is used as a whitening pigment in such things as toothpaste, skimmed milk, paint, inks, plastics, medicines and sunscreens. Mr. Kellogg writes: “Here’s another irony. Mining, manufacturing and transportation of solar components require vast amounts of hydro-carbon (sic) energy.” I’m just curious as to how much hydrocarbon energy is needed for hundreds of truckloads of water, or to make the trucks, or the drill bits, or to mine the rock for the platforms or the platforms themselves. You get the idea. You want irony? EnCana is the largest user of solar energy in Garfield County.Concerning a safety record, I suppose that depends on whose press release you are reading. See this week’s PI.Regarding Mr. Kellogg’s complaint about government mandates, Amendment 37, which proposed an increased percentage of alternative energy, was passed in 2004 by a citizens’ initiative, not a government mandate. Mr. Kellogg complains about subsidies for solar. From Oil Change International: “In the United States, credible estimates of annual fossil fuel subsidies range from $10 billion to $52 billion annually, while even efforts to remove small portions of those subsidies have been defeated in Congress.” Seven of the top 10 richest companies in the world are in oil and gas.Finally, when my panels are producing energy, they emit zero pollution. Can a gas power plant make the same claim?Craig S. ChisesiRifle

How is it that the Denver Post found it important news that there was an oil leak discovered by construction workers on March 8 near Parachute Creek, but here in Garfield County we heard nothing about it?I don’t remember reading anything about it in our news publications, and personally I think that is information that should have been published the moment it was discovered, especially to those it could affect. This is a public safety issue, and you can’t tell me no one else here in Garfield County didn’t know about it besides the construction workers who found it. Here is that transparency issue that was brought up in our last county commissioner election by one of the candidates running for commissioner. It looks like once again that oil and gas is being protected and the citizens of this county are taking the back seat on public information and safety.Patty GraceGlenwood SpringsEditor’s Note: The Post Independent ran a story on the spill on Sunday, March 17, the day after the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission sent people to the site to investigate.

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