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The politics of the pump

Dear Editors,

How federal, state and local governments have allowed a perfectly good cash cow to escape. Let’s start with the price of gasoline. If the wind blows, it goes up. If the seasons change, the gas blends change, and the price goes up. If a refinery is shut down for a storm, the price goes up. Why has our federal government allowed the price of gasoline to remain so high? CEOs of several large companies were invited to Congress to speak about high gasoline prices. However, they weren’t required to swear in on a Bible. Nothing definitive was explained by the CEOs, other than that’s just the nature of the oil business.

So let’s look at something definitive. All companies netted the LARGEST profits EVER. How could their environment have been so bad that such huge profits were made?

Why can’t our federal government tax the oil companies until they become more reasonable? If they don’t comply, tax them again. The USA’s spending is monumental. That is known as leverage!!! It would certainly appear that our federal government would rather support and reward big oil and not their own citizens. Why? Why do we allow them?

One oil company is advertising how the profits they made are being used for research on fuels. No time limit as to when something will be developed and in use. Aren’t we so fortunate for that explanation. They have perfected manipulation on us. Why don’t they convince environmentalists that they need to increase the size of their refineries or build new ones? With all of those profits, why don’t they reward the buyers of gasoline (us) with permanent price reductions? So you say, we are in Iraq, what about their oil? Can anyone answer that question? I don’t believe they have a refinery in Iraq.

What immediate benefit are we receiving from the oil companies? None. What has our federal government done? Well sometime in 2000 and what, autos will have to get more mileage per gallon.Yippee! What does that do for us now?

What can our state, county and city governments do to help us? They have forgotten about how easy it used to be to place a tax on gasoline and reap the rewards. If gasoline prices were rolled back to $1.88 a gallon and held steady, the state could add a $.35 tax increase per gallon, and the coffers would fill up in no time. Even the counties and cities could benefit. It would probably enable us to eliminate property tax all together. Things might be wonderful again.

What does our federal government do about this? They keep on letting big oil make tons of money and destroy our cash cow.

Why don’t the states, counties and cities take this same aggressive posture with the federal government and get back our cash cow? Remember, we are citizens of the USA, not only do we deserve better treatment and representation, we demand it!!!! Let’s be realistic. None of this will happen because we won’t get involved, and we will continue to be trampled by all forms of government. This doesn’t have to happen, does it?

One more thing, let’s shut down CITGO (Mr. Chavez, “I hate America”). Better still, let’s bring back U.S. gas and oil. Stand up and be counted. Uh, that goes for our government too.

– Robert Raney, via e-mail


Kicking off the Relay for Life

To the Editors:

As you may have heard, a recent report by the American Cancer Society reported several positive trends in cancer incidence and mortality. The report highlighted the following facts: · From 2002-04, cancer deaths in men and women decreased by 2.1 percent per year – nearly twice the annual rate of decline that occurred from 1993-2002. · Death rates decreased for 12 of the 15 most common cancers in men and for 10 of the 15 most common cancers in women.

These results can be attributed to smoking bans in many states, early detection programs and more effective treatment. However, there is still much work to do.

I challenge you to gather your family, friends and co-workers to join us in the fight to eliminate cancer by becoming involved in the 20th annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life of La Plata County.

Relay for Life is a fun-filled, overnight walk that celebrates survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), remembers loved ones and raises money for the fight against cancer.

For information on how you can get involved or to register a team, join us for our Relay for Life Kickoff Event on Thurs., Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. at the Durango-Silverton Train Museum in Durango. Or call Cheryl Schou of the local American Cancer Society office at 426-9628. Everyone from La Plata County is encouraged to attend!  

Together we can beat this disease!

– Sincerely, Debby Schwarz, Durango


Stop the scourge

(Editors’ note: The following letter was sent to U.S. Rep. John Salazar and State Sen. Jim Isgar.)

Dear Sirs:

I appreciate your concern and active work to combat the scourge that meth use is leaving in our state. I have seen programs that predict that 40 percent of America’s young men will be in prison within 10 years and the rest will be working in the prison system if we stay on the course we are on with privatized prisons.

Please, please do not support for-profit privatized prisons. Please do support programs that create jobs and meaning in young peoples lives. And recovery programs. Please go to the source and stop the production of meth in all ways possible, even if it means a moratorium on products that are used in meth production. In the case of the need for a product, have those products sold only in state-run stores. The people buying will provide a track. Make it very hard to get or make meth. Work with other states to mandate the same plans. Pay attention closely to what works and to those who have recovered who are working to stop this scourge.

– Margaret Pacheco, Durango