Wednesday letters: confluence, conservatives on carbon dividends, Tipton on health care

Put confluence development to a vote

Last Thursday I attended a City Council workshop on the development of the confluence.  

I feel that Council has decided to start spending time and money with a developer to put forth the idea of turning the confluence into a commercial partnership. I always thought that before you started a project, you first got the permission of the owner of the property, which is the citizens of Glenwood Springs. I’m not convinced most citizens want this area to be used for commercial rather than recreational. This concentration of development in a very small area is not a good solution to solve our housing problems or bring more tourism to a town that has never had a problem in getting tourist to come. 

At the meeting they talked about affordable housing in this area. I’m sorry there is no such thing as affordable housing in our area. Just look at the rental rates of recently completed affordable housing. Do the downtown businesses need more competition? Do we need a concentration of people and businesses in a very small area? More traffic in our downtown core? When open space is created, then once this land is developed, the chance of creating additional open space will be limited. The fact that over $8 million will be needed for infrastructure to attract the developers to invest in this project is reason enough to back off.

The cost to turn this area into a recreational use will not come anywhere close to $8 million. There has been no study or design that has been done to see the cost or the potential benefits of expanding this area for recreation. I would like to see a vote by the citizens on what they prefer to see in the confluence, rather than what a developer prefers to see in our confluence, before going forward.

Don Gillespie

Glenwood Springs

Conservatives support carbon dividends

I was dismayed to read Rep. Tipton’s recent comments on climate change. While I understand his concerns with the Green New Deal, there are other solutions that he shouldn’t ignore.

Rep. Tipton is right to worry about the economy. In fact, we need plastics for medical devices and industry, not just the “sunglasses” that Rep. Tipton so condescendingly pointed to as needing fossil fuels. It’s not fossil fuels that are the problem, it’s the pollution. Accordingly, the Republican Utah State Legislature recently released a plan to reduce carbon pollution by 50% within a decade. Clearly, true conservative values tell us to combat pollution, not stick our heads in the sand.

Rep. Tipton says his constituents are concerned about their “families and futures.” Let’s listen to the future of our country. Leaders of five Utah College Republican chapters recently joined the CU-Boulder College Republicans in endorsing a carbon dividends approach to curbing pollution. This announcement comes as reports from the Trump administration show multi-billion dollar harms from climate change and recent polling shows that GOP voters are increasingly worried about their party’s stance on the issue.

The carbon dividends approach they advocate flips the script for climate legislation. Instead of command-and-control regulations or industry punishments, carbon dividends pay Americans to reduce pollution. The plan puts a rising fee on fossil fuels that will be burned for energy, giving the market a clear indication that clean energy is the direction innovation should move us. All revenue from that fee is returned to Americans equally, more than offsetting increased prices for the two-thirds of people who pollute less than average.

Carbon fees have been supported by several Republicans in the U.S. House, including Rep. Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Rep. Rooney of Florida. I urge Rep. Tipton to join them by backing the most broadly-supported pro-economy climate solution in Congress: the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

Elliot Smith

Traverse City, Michigan

Tipton has poor understanding of what ails health care system

Rep. Scott Tipton’s comments about health care at a recent local Republican gathering — as reported in Saturday’s Post Independent — demonstrated a poor understanding of what ails American health care and of how we can fix it.

Greg Feinsinger, M.D.


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