Monday letters: Uinta comments, chemical trails
GarCo Commissioners, I have to respond to their latest. They are putting their support behind the Uinta Basin Railway. Going against all logic and environmental concerns. Going against surrounding counties opposing this horrible venture — even after the devastating derailment in Ohio and the toxic pollutants spewed into the environment.
The railroads have shown they are not responsible players, caring only about the bottom line. Can you even imagine the environmental damage to our wilderness if there was a derailment?
Another aspect is the city of Glenwood Springs — the past several years, all they have done to perpetuate tourism. And now we’re going to run these filthy trains through the center of town?
It shows once again the selfish, self-centered agenda of these shortsighted commissioners. Get with the program. Fossil fuels are over.
Ken Fry, Glenwood Springs
The Garfield County commissioners have it all backwards in their support of increased gas and oil rail traffic.
Yes, there has been abundant snowfall this winter, but climate change and the need to lessen carbon emissions has not disappeared.
For local residents, maintaining an American supply of natural gas is far more important than having it shipped to Asia for corporate profit. Ditto for the oil destined for Gulf Coast refineries.
Any benefit to the county is marginal at best.
Robert Porath, Boulder/Meredith
What about hydro?
Adding to Fred Malo’s letter in Friday’s paper: Is Commissioner John Martin not aware that Glenwood Springs has been getting electricity from the Shoshone Hydroelectric Plant for over 100 years?
Linda Silloway, Glenwood Springs
By supporting of the Uinta Basin Railway our county commissioners once again demonstrate their continuous unwavering allegiance to the fossil fuel industry — as they ignore the wishes and needs of their constituents whom they are supposed to represent (see “Garfield County Commissioners defend the Uinta Basic Railway,” Post Independent, March 29).
If this railway is put through we may see as many as five crude oil trains per day traversing through our county and along the Colorado River for more than 100 miles. This amounts to an almost 30-fold increase in such trains.
Moreover, the backers of this risky project are trying to use taxpayer-funded bonds to finance it! With the increase in train derailments in this country, we can’t afford the chance of catastrophic oil spills into the Colorado River.
John Martin states quite illogically that “You cannot have [electricity] without oil and gas.”
John, what about renewable energy sources such as wind and solar? It makes one wonder what kind of support our commissioners are getting from the fossil fuel industry.
With the ever-increasing destruction and damage to our planet we are seeing every day, we must wean ourselves from fossil fuels as rapidly as possible.
Bob Millette, New Castle
False energy claims
The reasoning in the position of Garfield County commissioners to support rather than oppose the Uinta Basin Railway is fundamentally flawed.
The argument that we are or were “energy independent” until two years ago is false. The U.S. is and has been a net exporter of “petroleum” for some time, but we have been importers of petroleum “energy products” since the ’50s.
The vast majority of the petroleum products aside from natural gas that are extracted by fracking are unsuitable for producing energy but used for producing plastics and other non-energy related products.
The assertion that in the last two years we have shifted from being energy independent to dependent is patently false and a purely political statement. Granted, during the previous administration imports of fossil fuels fell but this was a function of less air travel and far less driving during the Covid pandemic, yet we were still importing “energy” while being a net exporter of petroleum.
The balance between imports and exports has fallen some during the first two years of the Biden administration, primarily due to the nation transitioning to the new “normal” post pandemic.
Regarding the characterization of the concerns as being “fearmongering” it would seem the county commissioners are ignoring the fact that even in the absence of any spill, the 10 additional trains every single day not only passing through the county is actually 20 additional trains up to 110 cars long since the tankers that run down to the Gulf must be returned to be refilled. This additional traffic creates a noise and pollution disturbance for every community these trains would pass through from Utah to the Gulf.
Then there is the environmental impact that results from putting more and more petroleum into our environment whether in the form of fossil fuels that increase our collective carbon footprint or plastics which litter our landscapes and ocean.
The claims made by the commissioners need context and serious fact-checking.
Ronald Booth, Westminster, Colorado
Fools day protest
The incessant age bias regurgitated by Mr. Malo Jr. against our GarCo commissioners is kinda funny. I mean, I’m older than dirt and Fred is four years older than me — riding a one trick pony tilting against his fossil fuel windmills.
A successful society needs energy to prosper. Naive eco-alarmists are destroying our economy and culture with hysterical claims of climate Armageddon.
I thank our county commissioners for their years of public service and keeping Garfield County among the most prosperous in Colorado while maintaining our superb quality of life.
And thank you Fred, for informing me of your Fool’s Day protest. I’ll be there with bells on.
Bruno Kirchenwitz, Rifle
We talk about Humanity’s huge addition of planet warming carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere and oceans, but for a real eye opener, look at the horrendous effects of the carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) produced during the same processes and blown around the globe.
It’s clearly seen on the CHEM menu of https://earth.nullschool.net/ and is absolutely frightening and a stunning picture of why the mycelium, insects, birds, animals and sea life would be stressed to their limits.
Every oil and gas well-field, city, airplane route and ocean shipping route are highlighted clearly by their emissions.
John Hoffmann, Carbondale
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