Kerry’s thoughts on roadless rule? |

Kerry’s thoughts on roadless rule?

Dear Editor:With the arrival of presidential candidate John Kerry in town on Monday, it will be interesting to hear if he addressed the roadless rule. The overwhelming public support to get the Roadless Area Conservation Act approved would serve as a beneficial stance for the candidate; especially in the Aspen valley, where the roadless rule has such potential to preserve areas in the national forests.Scott Condon’s article, “Gas firm sets sights on Pitco” (Aspen Times, June 21), illustrates EnCana Oil and Gas’ plan to start drilling exploratory wells in Pitkin County. Although, EnCana expresses that the exploratory wells are not a full-scale gas-drilling project, it could very well lead to that. Sloan Shoemaker, executive director of the Aspen Wilderness Workshop, noted that this could be a precursor to large-scale drilling. To approve EnCana’s plan to start exploratory drilling is basically giving oil and gas companies the key to our national forests. With the increased exploration by oil and gas companies in and around Pitkin County, a national policy enforcing roadless area protection needs to be in effect. If this had been the case in May, the roadless rule could have prohibited the leasing of the Thompson Creek area.It is in the best interest of public officials to limit the oil and gas companies’ power. John Kerry supporting the roadless rule in Aspen would presumably boost his support, since the roadless rule will eventually come down to the president in office.Scott YeatesFort Collins

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