Recent comments

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Back at ya d-2:

    I wasn't criticizing Kurt for his trailer....which as I see it states that it is none other than Obama's Team, in particular J. Podesta, along with other members of the "organIzation" whose inference it is that the policy / decisions MIGHT be overturned, not Kurt directly. Nor am I suggesting that those responsible for the statements are friends, directly or otherwise of our moderator. I guess my original post should have stated "our", not "your" friends on The Hill. Pardon my literary lapse.

    However, I do believe there is a marked difference between publicizing an issue and bringing an issue before the public conscience. One is little more that a blatant form of grandstanding, while the other more generally serves to solicit opinions or motivate those concerned. Again speaking solely for myself, I believe this current ploy to be more the former than the latter. I sense this is the point at which you and I begin to interpret the gist of the issue and the methodolgy used by the administration's representative differently. I'm skeptical of ANY political posturing, but none more so than in the wake of election day, when the spotlights are shining their brightest. Jaded? You bet....guilty as charged. Gullible? Not in the least. I'll take jaded anytime.

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Roger, until you know me a little better I'd prefer you not speculate as to whose alter I pray to or what my views are on resource extraction.

    There is indeed a "smell" about the Jonah Field, one that Pinedale residents don't particularly enjoy. Jobs indeed are being created, but so is crime, resource destruction, wildlife habitat fragmentation, pollution, and a significant jump in cost of living, one that has made Sublette County the second-most expensive place to live in Wyoming, behind only Teton County.

    Local officials report that "Sublette Co. has a smaller and less diverse array of small businesses than it did before the gas boom, and state figures show the number of retail and entertainment businesses and employees declining from 2000-2006, while the food service industry remained stagnant despite boomtown growth. Staffing considerations make starting a small business in Sublette Co. difficult at best. Daycare facilities continue to face long waiting lists and new providers are hard to find due to labor and real estate price considerations. Tourism in Sublette County currently suffers from a lack of lodging options, at least 75% of rooms are booked nightly by industry workers and rooms easily rent for $90 night – in the summer months reservations are often required.

    Is this healthy? Should one industry suffocate all others? Socio-economic concerns shouldn't be ignored when it comes to making decisions on where to dig or drill. Indeed, some communities just might prefer a more-rounded, cleaner economy.

    All that said, I'm not ignoring the country's need for energy. My point is that what the BLM is trying to accomplish in Utah doesn't seem to be carefully thought out, not when you consider the scant energy reserves that possibly exist and the detrimental impacts to other segments of the regional economy, ie tourism. Beyond that, I would prefer to see just as much, if not more, emphasis placed on development of alternative energy sources. If you interpret that as whining, so be it.

  • New Solar Power System Puts This Park in the Forefront of Alternative Energy Use   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Lone Hiker, always find your comments quite thought provoking and informative. If we throw in Boone Pickens into the equations with your constructive comments, do you think we have chance to set-up a decent wind grid that stretches from Texas to North Dakota? A enormous task at hand but the potentiality of the project appears to have great possibilities. I like the fact that Mr. Pickens is willing to take this bold step towards energy dependency and thrust forward to make it reality. Definitely a man with grand vision.

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Hi LoneHiker:

    just looking at the body of the article about Podesta's remarks, and the headline here of "HINTS," I'd say 'hints' is the right word here, and attacking Kurt's headline seems to me is unwarranted. Or characterizing '"friends" on The Hill' as if he were in some sort of conspiracy. Please be fair, as usually you are.

    Doesn't it seem to you that what is going on here with Podesta and the President-Elect is the normal need to raise an issue to public attention, before they decide exactly how to act on that issue? This is, as you must know, an important way to get things said in advance, to avoid paying later for acting without all the info, or info and public understanding.

    The Hill democrats pointed out during the campaign that Oil companies had failed to drill in areas they already had leasing rights for, but were instead trying to cherry-pick by opening up Outer Cont. Shelf areas for oil development. Few in the US will understand that since the Reagan-Watt days oil companies have been allowed to cherry-pick on the oil reserves on land. In a break with long standing oil reserves conservation policy to extract the maximum amount of oil from each field, James Watt as secretary of the interior offered large amounts of tracts for lease simultaneously. This allowed companies to obtain leases essentially with no competition on a track-by-track basis, and ALSO allowed the companies to pick only the most profitable track in a specific field, allowing the rest of the oil to be wasted. [unless you go for all the oil at once, the less productive tracts become sub-economic, in the same way that the health insurance of senior citizens becomes hugely expensive if you take seniors out of the general pool for health insurance.] Anyway, the result of all this is under the existing 'system' [when corruption is really enormous, we change its name to "policy"] oil companies get to lock up domestic undeveloped oil fields and hold them until they want to develop them.

    Because of the cherry picking, some of these fields may have been ruined for feasible development for years to come. Some, with careful management (including the need to cancel some non-performing leases), may be brought back if and when prices get high enough. Some are too sensitive to develop, because of the other valuable resources in the vicinity, resources that could include water resources or wilderness values.

    All government owned oil fields are not in the above category, but as a result of the poor understanding of all this by the Media, few distinctions were drawn in the public mind about what public lands should or should not be open to development.

    It makes sense to me that Potesta needs to begin to raise the issue with the public that we need to put together a balanced and thoughtful energy strategy. You must have been around long enough to know this is a critical political skill, not something reprehensible. Even if you completely believe something, in a democracy you have to begin the discussion first with the public. Look how poorly Secretary Babbitt did by just announcing to the public his own personal preferences, rather than building a constituency first. Some of our greatest acts of leadership, such as Lincoln slowly raising the possibility of the emancipation proclamation, or Franklin Roosevelt gradually raising the need to support Britain against the Nazis were conducted this way.

    One purpose of discussions such as all of us are having on this blog is to get the complexities out there for consideration, and reconsideration.

    Please don't blame Kurt for his "friends" on The Hill. And don't think there is something wrong going on as a government official begins to raise an issue to the public.

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    So...I looked at the Jonah Field site...I can't figure out what you see wrong...looks like money and probably smells like money to me! JOBS too! And gee...even perhaps some good clean fuel for our cars!
    The real problem here is that those like yourself that pray to the altar of "Gaia" have taken away jobs and have become so radical that you are not even revelant anymore. ANY hint of resource extraction is met with cries of "the sky is falling" and "oh, whine-whine, the earth is dying." I really think that perhaps we oughta start drilling right smack dab in the middle of a park, so that when we do it outside, you'll quit your whinin'!
    Do you drive a car? How do you heat your house? Where are you getting your electricity to power the 'puter you are typing on?
    Stop the whimperin'!
    P.S. Good book just out: "Red Hot Lies" by Chris Horner...ya might wanna read it:
    http://www.amazon.com/Red-Hot-Lies-Alarmists-Misinformed/dp/1596985380

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Cookie, my closest ally that works for the U.S. Forestry Service (forestry ecologist) tells me exactly what Kurt describes...a scarred environment that is indeed very obtrusive.
    Don't be an ostrich with your head buried in the sand and take a REAL hard look.

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Cookie, full-field development is not unobtrusive in the least. Just Google "Jonah Field" and take a look at the photos and air quality problems that have arisen in and around Pinedale, Wyoming.

    Even partial field development is fairly obtrusive, particularly when you think of all the access roads skittering here and there across the landscape, roads that ORVs will gravitate to.

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Anon: Obviously you only talk the talk and not walk the walk because if you had been in the area you might notice some drilling rigs already. They are so non obtrusive that it is hardly noticed in this wide expanse of beautiful, glorious land.

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    I think the term "fondly" is a bit of a stretch for the legacy Georgie Jr. will leave behind. Terms more akin to "with amusement", or maybe "with bewilderment" or "misguided" come to mind, particularly given the debacle that is the middle eastern "war". "Fondly" seems to be the current sentiments pertaining to Alan Greenspan, who "coincidentally" jumped ship at the most opportune moment. Ever consider what HE knew that was kept secret from the American public specific to our economic status?

    The current approval rating of Congress must appear as golden to any resident of the State of Illinois who are saddled with a limp weenie of a governor with a single-digit approval rating. Now THAT'S a true accomplishment for ANY democrat in a state that has been a democratic stronghold for about a century! Well done, Rod!!!

    Getting back to the title of the thread, please note that the operative word here is HINTS.........more politispeak from your "friends" on The Hill. No substance, just jargon. Nothing that they can be held accoutable for in any way, shape or form. How typical. How sad. "Obama for Change"? I believe not. But only time will bear witness and unveil his legacy. I, for one, refuse to get my hopes up for any manner of true "change", except in the rhetoric he chooses to utter.

  • New Solar Power System Puts This Park in the Forefront of Alternative Energy Use   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Some pundits around the country have questioned the economics of "green" energy

    And it's a shame and a sham that many of them have personal and corporate financial concerns as motivation for their positions. The propaganda that is largely distributed through the efforts of the empowered electrical utility and mining companies is constantly belittling supplemental alternative energy sources such as the one demonstrated above for more reasons than can be succinctly posted. But there exist large scale (relatively) developments of solar and geothermal energy sources being constructed across the nation as we speak. Entire subdivisions have been erected totally without connecting to the existing power grid, and by the way, some also possess the capability to manage totally independent waste water treatment and recycling facilities, and one even has an on-site recycling center. Roadways made of recycled tires and glass fragments as opposed to the petroleum-based nightmare that withers during the northern latitudes annual rite commonly known as the freeze / thaw cycle. While the current economics are not able to be compared to the "cheap and stinky" system of coal-fired generators, most certainly not on the national scale to be sure, when does anyone propose would be a more opportune moment to explore these widely available energy sources? After the coal and oil reserves are depleted? You think these alternative sources aren't economical now, what would be the result of waiting until the 11th hour to develop them? What happens to the pricing structure when you only have one choice left? Let's all stop being led through life with blinders on like the good little ignorant American consumer and start demanding modifications to the system BEFORE we're forced to enact those changes by foreign energy suppliers. Wouldn't it be nice to regain control of our own destiny, or is that too broad a concept to grasp? It's certainly not beyond our capability as an allegedly technologically superior and innovative, solution-based nation, unless we stay the course and permit business as usual to be the driving force behind our national energy policy. Maybe we need a new utility management team who, unlike Enron, actually has a clue how to maintain and develop a grid system on the local, regional and national levels, and who isn't crappin' in their pants about the "competition", and who can utilize current technologies along with the old pollution-riddled system in place currently. On the other hand, there's no maybe about it........we DEFINATELY need a new power management team. We as a nation DESERVE better than we're being given, but we'll have to band together and force this change if we really want it to become reality. And there is actually no more opportune moment than currently exists.

  • National Park Quiz 16: Waterfalls   6 years 5 weeks ago

    "you need to enroll in America’s National Parks" :) this is what i got

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    How about the Democrat congress' 17% approval rating? Besides, if it were not for the liberal media feeding people like you misinformation, he would probably be at 60%. All it's been outa them for 8 years is HATE, HATE, HATE.
    And I really don't care what the rest of the world thinks of us...I've been to 19 different countries and NONE of them are worth living in compared to the USA...and they know it.
    History will look at President GW Bush fondly...especially as the continued threat of Islamofascism plays out...he was the first president with the cajones to take the fight to them since the Shores of Tripoli. Under Obama, they will reload and regroup for a much, much more deadly attack on our homeland.

  • Colonial America and the Other San Juan Capistrano   6 years 5 weeks ago

    It's strange how the Southwest is ignored in high school history courses recounting the settling of what we now call North America. If the Pilgrims had landed at Santa Fe, they could have gone to church.

    Rick Smith

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Well Roger, with Bush's recent approval ratings at a lowly 28%, the worst in American Presidential history, I guess I must be on something that justifies my discontent with the man. What's your excuse for his foul-up administration? I believe there's plenty of us that feel strongly as I do about the pathetic performance of this and now former President to be. Roger, I don't hate the man but I deeply despise what he's done to this country (his hate & divide syndrome) and to are world wide prestige. Tell me differently!

  • Colonial America and the Other San Juan Capistrano   6 years 5 weeks ago

    The modern history of this urban park and the current church / state relationships, as well as conflicts between local groups who claim the missions on religious, ethnic, and historical grounds, are as interesting as their colonial past. You can learn more about it in my 2004 book, Blessed with Tourists: The Borderlands of Religion and Tourism in San Antonio (University of North Carolina Press).

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Anon,
    You need to see a good psychiatrist to cure your obviously serious case of BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome).

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   6 years 5 weeks ago

    I have let it go, I just want to see this piece of history protected.

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Kurt, the above comment is not mine. FYI

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Geez, Anon, do you have anything to say other than recite talking points?

    Try researching issues for yourself and come back with an educated opinion.

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   6 years 5 weeks ago

    I agree...get over it for crissakes. Everybody is a "victim" these days. And they use that status to feed at the public trough.

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Kurt: God forbid such a terrible misdeed to be enacted upon this scared land that offers so much to the world in natural beauty and recreation. This pathetic insensitivity by the Bush administration is just another example of the callus behavior that reflects more rape, pillage and greed. This is Bush's last stance of in your face politics to scorch earth the environment before leaving office. Yap, trash the White House files, burn the bridges and pollute the environment before leaving to his Texas peacock ranch. Bush your legacy as President will be written in heavy scorn for many many years to come.

  • President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah   6 years 5 weeks ago

    That's O.K., we'll not need jobs cause Uncle Obama will be spreadin' the wealth!

  • Zion National Park Officials To Examine Needs of Canyon Shuttle System   6 years 5 weeks ago

    I live just an hour away from Zion and visit the Park many times a year. Each year I look forward to the shuttles closing so I can drive anywhere in the park, stop and get out my camera. I can come for a few hours or the whole day. But that works because there are few cars in the park from late October through March. While I miss being able to use my car in the summer I'd get much more frustrated trying to find a parking space than I get having to use the shuttle. So shuttle on!

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Let it go!
    It was 150 years ago!

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   6 years 5 weeks ago

    What about the German-American that were internment? Why hasn't my family seen reparations?