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Your Letters

George W. Bush has launched a new assault on birth control and reproductive freedom.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently proposed regulations that could seriously undermine access to basic reproductive health services ” including birth control and abortion.

Instead of striking a careful balance between individual religious liberty and patients’ access to reproductive health care, the Bush administration has taken patients’ rights and their health care needs out of the equation.

This far-reaching proposal doesn’t need congressional approval. But, it can’t go forward without allowing for public comment.

The deadline for public comments is fast approaching ” Sept. 20 ” and we have to generate intense opposition to these dangerous regulations.

As written, the regulations could allow institutions and individuals to deny women access to birth control and permit individuals to refuse to provide information and counseling about basic heath care services. Moreover, they expand existing laws by permitting a wider range of health care professionals to refuse to provide even referrals for abortion services.

According to researchers at the Guttmacher Institute , without the contraceptive services provided at publicly funded clinics, there would be 46 percent more unintended pregnancies (1.4 million more) annually in the United States than currently occur.

At a time when more and more Americans are either uninsured or struggling with the soaring costs of health care, the federal government should be expanding access to important health services, not undermining existing protections or interfering in programs that have successfully provided services for years.

For years, federal law has carefully balanced protections for individual religious liberty and patients’ access to reproductive health care. The proposed regulations appear to take patients’ health needs out of the equation. I urge you to restore this important balance and protect access to basic care for the millions of Americans who depend on federally funded health care services.

DeAnna Erdelen

Glenwood Springs

Somebody recently sent me a copy of Sen. Ken Salazar’s piece on oil shale.

He is so right concerning past history of oil shale. Whether it was 1908, or more recently 1974, oil shale has not been an economic substitute for petroleum.

However he is not up to date on recovery methods. In 1985 the University of Alabama received a grant from the Department of Energy to develop a method of recovering oil from oil shale. The primary aim was at Mid Continent oil shale, which has the advantage of not being on federal land.

However in the effort they also tried recovering oil from Colorado oil shale. By applying very fine grinding, down to about 5 microns and applying flotation to the oil shale, they were able to recover the kerogen in a shale-free product, which contained from 10 to 20 times the kerogen content per ton of product to be retorted.

A cost study was completed by a major engineering company. I was hired to review the test work and the cost study. At the time, 1987, that the study was presented to the energy department the estimated cost was $40 per barrel of oil. Adjusting for inflation the price would now be about $60 per barrel of oil recovered.

Frank W. Millsaps

Millsaps Mineral Service Inc.

Salt Lake City

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