Vote could cost votes | AspenTimes.com

Vote could cost votes

Dear Editor:

(This letter was originally addressed to U.S. Sens. Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Wayne Allard.)

I am very disappointed that both of you Colorado Senators voted yes on the proposed bill to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. You did not listen to the people. Both you and President Bush greatly exaggerated the facts about how it would help us become energy independent. In fact, some of these exaggerated figures bordered on being outright lies. Then Senator Stevens of Alaska tried to sweeten the bill by adding an amendment which would give the retired steelworkers health care and retirement benefits from oil drilling revenues. This simply did not belong on the energy bill, was only a lame effort to make it more desirable, and is just outright bad taste and dirty politics. But then once again, both of you Senators voted for it, even though a lot of your fellow Republicans had the good taste to vote against it.

The reality is that neither of you has done much to promote overall energy efficiency. Over and over, you’ve voted down anything that would have helped the nation to head in the right direction of increased energy efficiency by reducing our need for oil. Now you are looking at opening more pristine areas in the continental U.S. In addition, you are going to try to reduce environmental safeguards further even though the administration has already sped up the oil and gas permit process without any thought of environmental safeguards and public impute. The drilling companies are currently making record profits and have permits in place for up to 5 more years of drilling. This is with the current environmental safeguards that should be strengthened, not weakened. In Colorado we have 16 million acres of public lands open to gas and oil exploration and only 600,000 which are not open to drilling. This is only 3.5%. We don’t need to open this very small percentage of pristine land to drilling.

I hope that the people of Colorado see how right wing conservative and anti environmental you are, especially considering that one of you, Mr. Wayne Allard is coming up for reelection this fall.

Tom Merrill

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