Friday letters: Moving forward, healthy environment, rural voters
Reflect and decide to live together and move forward
During a worldwide pandemic that has killed over 1,290,000 people, the citizens of our country spoke, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now going to lead our country, the most powerful, wonderful and amazing country in the world.
The COVID-19 virus will be defeated by spring, and there will be another stimulus package coming our way. Make sure the IRS and Social Security have your correct addresses, and don’t worry about what is coming next for us in this country.
It is time to reflect and decide if we want to live together in this country and move forward. And the answer to that is “yes.”
Rural Coloradans deserve a healthy environment
Living in a small town on the Western Slope, it’s easy to feel overlooked when politicians and public officials are making decisions on the Front Range. This has fueled mistrust, sometimes, between some of us in rural Colorado and the urban power centers. But that doesn’t mean people in rural places want weaker protections when it comes to air quality or safeguarding our water supplies, public lands and important wildlife areas.
I am writing to let your readers know, as the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) updates its rules to align with its new mission, some western Colorado county officials (including Delta, Mesa and Garfield counties) are telling the commission that we don’t need the same level of protection as people on the Front Range. This doesn’t serve us well in rural areas. Though our needs are different than on the Front Range, we have important resources we need to protect such as clean water, wildlife habitat, an agricultural economy and world-class scenery.
Mostly, I want the COGCC to know that many rural Coloradans appreciate its work to strengthen these rules, and to ensure the commissioners that we want the same level of protections here as for any other Coloradan, rural or urban.
In addition, the new oil and gas rules and regulations should prioritize protection of water supplies, wildlife habitats and public lands, and also human health and safety, our residences and occupied structures. The commission and local counties could work with Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife, Water Conservation Board and appropriate local entities to fine tune local solutions.
Readers who agree that rural Coloradans deserve a healthy environment should speak up now. Let the COGCC and county officials know, because they are working to finalize the new rules soon.
National popular vote would silence rural voters
The Nov. 6 edition of the Post Independent had the editorial article and a letter to the editor suggesting abolishing the electoral college. The authors were Hal Sundin and Dyana Furmansky, respectively. Mr. Sundin said the Electoral College was “incorporated because of the poor communication of that time.” Ms. Furmansky attributes its origins to the “slavery mindset of our framers.” Regardless of these obscure tidbits of conflicting information, the Electoral College is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, an inspired document. This year the Electoral College aligned with the popular vote in the presidential election, but it is not always the case. Sometimes it works out that there is a difference in the popular vote and the Electoral College choices. When this happens, it usually is in favor of the states with a smaller population. According to Wikipedia, in 2016, a presidential vote cast in Wyoming carried 3.6 times more weight than a similar vote in California.
While this may seem unfair to some, it is a basic governmental principle that states have rights. We are the United States of America, not the United People of America. We are a republic with elected representatives and states that have rights, not a democracy.
The desire among Democrats to abolish the Electoral College is a thinly veiled attempt to silence a fast-growing minority in the United States, rural voters. Rather than doing the hard work required to craft legislation to appeal to rural voters, some in the Democratic Party would rather silence the rural voters and reap the low-hanging and more abundant fruit that urban voters can provide. I find it very ironic that the supposed party of inclusion is so blatantly trying to silence rural voters.
There is a disturbing trend that I see where vocal majorities see no problem trampling on the rights of less vocal minorities. Proposition 114 that gave the green light for wolf reintroduction is a prime example. The urban majority in Colorado was able to vote to decrease property values and make it harder for those west of the Continental Divide to make a living. The only choice that silent minorities have is to call out those who are trampling on their rights.
I would encourage Mr. Sundin and Ms. Furmansky to make their views known by encouraging their party to enact legislation to appeal to rural voters rather than trying to silence them. They could consider working with rural areas and try to enact grassroots change from the inside. If their ideas are so great, maybe they could help rural voters to start to see the world as they do.
I hope we can all see the movement to elect the president of the United States by popular vote for what it is, a sly attempt to silence rural voters and trample on state’s rights and the Constitution of the United States.
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