Wednesday letters: Old ideas, unsustainable growth
Over the Hill ideas
Former Republican state senator Mark Hillman penned a column titled “Colorado is a mess” in the Sept. 2 issue of the Post Independent. In it, he offers a lot of time-worn descriptions of what’s wrong in Colorado and very few solutions.
What irked me the most was when he referred to fossil fuels as the “affordable energy” and claims state Democrats have declared “war” on it. The price of methane gas is projected to rise 30% before this winter and coal has been out of sight for some time now. Renewables like wind and solar, on the other hand, are plummeting in costs.
Hillman decries the passage of Senate Bill 19-181 which reprioritized the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from promoting the oil and gas industry to protecting public health, safety, welfare, environment and wildlife. Why does the industry need the state to provide them with a public relations agency anyway? They have their own lobbying arm, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, for that.
I don’t know where Hillman gets his figures for how many drilling permits have been approved by the COGCC since their reprioritization, probably the COGA. He said there were only five approvals in 2021 and ’22 so far this year. A quick glance at the COGCC records reveals 195 in 2021 and 932 in 2022.
Hillman bemoans the 3,400 job losses in the “energy sector” the state has experienced since 2020. Which energy sector? After a severe dip in early 2020, renewable energy jobs have increased at a steady 11% rate.
The core message of Hillman’s column is Colorado is a mess and will remain so until Republicans take over the state government. He cites crime and inflation; both national, if not international, problems. His solutions to these dilemmas come right out of the right-wing playbook. What worked yesterday must be the answer for today.
If Hillman finds Colorado to be in such disarray, perhaps he should move to Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, West Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina, or Georgia. All deep red states and all near the bottom in standard of living. Fred Malo Jr., Carbondale
Growth neither inevitable nor sustainable
Re: “Need more normal housing,” Darren Stukes, May 25, 2022, Post Independent letters.
The letter read, “…accept that growth is inevitable.” In fact, exponential growth cannot be sustained, nor is it inevitable. As we passed through Glenwood Springs this summer, we fought our way through horrific traffic, crowded gas pumps and too many people.
“Unlimited population growth cannot be sustained; you cannot sustain growth in the rates of consumption of resources. No species can overrun the carrying capacity of a finite land mass. This Law cannot be repealed and is not negotiable.” Dr. Albert Bartlett, http://www.albartlett.org, University of Colorado.
As a Golden, Colorado resident, I can attest that we are being overbuilt as rats in a shoebox. Our traffic suffocates us. Our air toxifies our lungs. Our ability to escape the overpopulation of Golden continues at breakneck speed. In the end, what is the carrying capacity of Colorado? How many millions can be supported as to water, energy and resources?
Can our state sustain the projected jump from 5.7 million to 8.7 million within 28 years? What about the quality of life for future generations? Can Glenwood Springs sustain another 10,000 or 50,000 people? Why? What’s the point?
How about a “Glenwood Springs Population Stabilization Policy … Glenwood Springs Quality of Life Policy … Glenwood Springs Stop Growth Policy.”
That would stop what’s happening to your fine city. As a matter of fact, I’m working on the same for Golden. We must stop growth, or Mother Nature will do it for us at some point … and she’s rather brutal, merciless and absolute.
Frosty Wooldridge, Golden
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