Letters 9/24: On fracking and air quality, and more

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The politics of hiding

The air quality in Longmont is poor primarily due to fracking. The American Lung Association has given the area an “F” rating. Harmful chemicals produced by fracking, such as benzene, toluene, carbon dioxide and ethane often spike late at night, when the oil companies are flaring, but these chemicals have also been measured at high levels during the day. (A reminder that there is no known safe level for children for pollutants such as benzene, which is a known carcinogen.) 

While this knowledge could hinder Longmont’s reputation and its economic growth and development might be tarnished with this publicity, residents should know what is in their air. Hiding the truth about Longmont’s air quality is an irresponsible stance to take. Longmont residents need to know the truth about Longmont’s air quality so that they can protect their children and medically fragile family members. 

We need a daily emergency response system warning our residents when the air quality is at dangerous levels. Such a warning system could be done with current air monitoring at Union Reservoir and is already in place in Broomfield. The City only has to ask Dr. Detlev Helmig to provide us the same warning emails that are being provided in Broomfield. 

We also need our City leaders to take a more proactive stance to improve our air quality by engaging in hearings at the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).

Lynette McClain/Longmont

Hickenlooper represents Colorado values

Senator Cory Gardner wrote: “I’ll always fight to protect our public lands…”  and then cornered a hypocrisy award. Senators Bennett and Gardner deserve credit for securing permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Gardner however blocked the passage of four carefully vetted wilderness bills during his six years in office.

Widely supported wilderness designation was sought for Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Gardner was requested to support wilderness in the San Juan Mountains, the Thompson Divide near Aspen and along the Continental Divide. In spite of broad support he refused, and is the only Republican Senator from Colorado not to sponsor a wilderness bill.

Gardner has supported the dishonest Trump agenda close to 99% of the time.

He accepted millions from the National Rifle Association and, as payback, blocked sensible background checks after the Sandy Hook slaughter.

Gardner is a climate change denier and has supported Trump’s efforts to allow more damaging methane to be released into the atmosphere from oil and gas drilling. Our supposed public servant has accepted millions from the oil and gas industry.

Gardner forced the Bureau of Land Management to share an office with the oil and gas industry in Grand Junction where they have been forced to roll back environmental protection for public lands.

He supported Trumps’ rollback of dozens of environmental laws, including the weakening of the Clean Air and Water Acts.

He has voted to appoint every toady lobbyist nominated by Trump to manage important federal agencies including the EPA, BLM and Interior Department.

Gardner sided with Sen. Mitch McConnell in blocking consideration of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, and predictably voted for Kavanaugh. 

[Editor’s note: Since receiving this letter, Gardner has pledged to support whomever Trump nominates to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.]

John Hickenlooper cares much more for our state and our future. Please support him with your vote.

Alan Apt/Nederland