Wednesday letters: Gas drilling, Democrats

Kiss the North Fork Valley goodbye

The Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have given Gunnison Energy approval to drill up to 35 natural gas wells on nearly 35,000 acres west of McClure Pass in Gunnison and Delta Counties.

Say goodbye to those lush organic farms in the North Fork Valley that’ve provided us with healthy, locally grown produce. Bring on the trucks from California burning fossil fuels and hauling Roundup-laden foodstuffs.

“It’s not possible to extract those resources without the occasional, or sometimes common, accident,” said Delta County activist David Inouye, “and in the North Fork Valley, we’re quite susceptible to something that would threaten the reputation of this area for organic agriculture. And there have been spills already.”

What he’s talking about is the volatile organic compounds and greenhouse gases emitted by drilling and fracking that contaminate and kill vegetation as well as contribute to climate change.

Gone, too, will be the myriad of recreational opportunities like hunting, fishing, hiking, cross country skiing, mountain biking, and camping this lovely mountain valley offers. The history of the fossil fuel industry is when it moves in, it takes over the landscape.

I remember when the Piceance Basin was a delightful place for a walk observing the flora and fauna. Now, it’s nothing but gas wells as far as the eye can see. Gunnison Energy is planning access roads that’ll further cut up the terrain and fracking that’ll consume 21 million gallons of water per well.

What is the reason for this devastation? So a few greedy, desperate entrepreneurs can attempt to revive a dying industry. Fracking and government subsidies have produced a glut of natural gas like the world has never seen before and driven prices through the floor.

At a Jan. 25 talk at the Limelight Hotel in Aspen, founder Bill McKibben said, “The industry knows its days are numbered. They’re trying to make as much money as they can before the axe falls.”

You could say that’s a sound business plan. I call it unconscionable greed.

Gunnison Energy still needs to get permits for each well from the BLM. Given the BLM’s Acting Director William Perry Pendley and Secretary of the Interior, Rifle’s own, David Bernhardt are notoriously pro-industry and anti-environment, that shouldn’t be a problem. The only act that’ll save the North Fork Valley is regime change in Washington this November.

Fred Malo Jr.

Democrats not the bad guys

Democrats are not to blame for the impeachment. One man and one-man alone Donald J. Trump is. A man that is so insecure in his ability to win an election on his own merits chose to find a means to cheat via having another country falsify facts about one of his potential opponents. A man sending his personal attorney to chase conspiracy theories that are known to be false.

That Nancy Pelosi held the articles of impeachment back for three weeks pales in comparison to Mitch McConnell refusing to allow the Senate to consider the nomination of an Obama supreme court nominee until after the 2016 election. I would further point out that numerous other well-qualified Obama Judicial nominees were either filibustered or their nominations were stalled on the Senate floor.

Mitch McConell and a Republican led senate have taken advantage of the judicial vacancies they caused in the last term of the Obama presidency and proceeded to fill the Federal Judicial pool with a steady stream of judges whose only qualifications seem to be that they are steadfast conservatives.

I would point out that The American BAR association has even raised alarms over just how unqualified some of these nominees are.

Anybody that thinks that the Electoral College protects the rights of smaller states need only look at the power that Kentucky wields via Mitch McConnell.

Another fun fact for conservatives. Kentucky ranks seventh out of 50 states in its dependency on Federal funds. Colorado by comparison ranks 34th. And California the state conservatives love to hate ranks 43rd. Kentucky receives more per capita federal spending than 43 other states! Kentucky must love Mitch McConnell.

For those of us that do research the facts and look to information from multiple sources it looks as if Donald Trump has turned the Oval Office into the center ring of a three ring circus.

Donald Trump exercised poor judgment and acted in a manner that was unethical to the office of the presidency.

Democrats were not the bad guys.

Marco Diaz

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