Unasked questions about Thompson Divide | AspenTimes.com

Unasked questions about Thompson Divide

Dear Editor:

The Aspen Times article written by John Colson and published on Oct. 3, 2011, fails to discuss any of the benefits that may be derived if the 16 leases were granted to SG Interests (“Thompson Divide decision likely ‘months away'”).

The article states that the 81 leases presently issued cover approximately 100,000 acres and such leases are set to expire in 2012 and 2013.

Query: Upon the expiration of such leases:

– Will any employees lose their jobs and if so, how many jobs will be lost, and what is the amount of the aggregate monthly payroll and taxes that will disappear?

– What is the amount of federal funds that were derived from energy and mineral extraction that will be lost and not paid to local area governments?

Regarding drinking water for the town of Carbondale and subdivisions in the Crystal and Roaring Fork valleys, please publish the certified reports that indicate the extent of water pollution to such drinking water.

Upon the expiration of the 81 leases, if the 16 leases were granted they would operate on approximately 32,000 acres of the Thompson Divide’s 221,500 acres, or about 14.5 percent of the Thompson Divide, leaving 85.5 percent, or 189,382 acres, which appears to be very ample for farming, ranching, recreation and wildlife habitat.

Query: If the 16 leases are issued:

– How many jobs would be created to perform the SG Interests drilling and other needed services?

– What would be the pay ranges for the different employee services?

– What is the estimated amount of (i) weekly or monthly payroll, (ii) taxes to be collected by federal and local governments and (iii) the amount of annual federal funds to be paid to our local area governments from federal or local funds that are derived from such energy and mineral extraction?

I believe the answers to these questions are very important because Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke bluntly warned Congress Oct. 4 of what most of America has sensed for some time: The economic recovery, such as it is, ” is close to faltering.” I also believe that drilling should not commence until procedures are in place to assure safe drilling and no pollution and/or contamination.

Our government, leaders from our president to local political officers, appear to fail to run the government in the manner of a successful business.

All we hear from them is how broke many levels of government are and what taxes should be increased and other charges that should be imposed on our taxpayers. For example, Aspen recently announced it wished to charge us for Sunday parking, increase golf fees and increase taxes.

Why do such political politicians fail to act in a good business-like manner when it comes to creating jobs, income and revenues at no cost to taxpayers?

Bob Donatelli


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