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Entries in Environmental Justice (3)


BIG Government's appetite for Fossil Fuels!

VetTheGov just returned from a trip to Australia and was dumbfounded by the hypocrisy of its government regarding pollution and energy consumption. Australia is definitely the poster child for how a government controls pollution from its businesses, citizens, and visitors, right? Think again! Be on the lookout as the United States is watching Australia closely so they can bring forth their Cap & Tax scheme soon!

VetTheGov read an interesting article while in Australia regarding the governments Do as I Say not as I Do energy policy and consumption. When your government becomes the leading employer, largest asset owner, and dictator of all policy, they can't help but be the leading energy user. What's interesting to note is that the environmental justice groups are beginning to focus their attention on government. Surely a move the government was hoping to deflect with all the renewable energy programs implemented on the backs of the taxpayers. Australia lead the way with wind energy but look at all the hassles they now face such as noise pollution! Note: When walking around all the larger cities in Australia it was difficult to avoid all the second hand smoke. It appears Australians love tobacco and the government is enjoying the tax benefit! Also take note of the heavy handed fist used by the government to curb social behavior! If this is the case for tobacco then why aren't they using the same tactic to combat AIDS???

Industry specific areas of Australia seem to have different standards placed upon them. For instance, VetTheGov passed a sugar mill complex and couldn't help but notice two large smoke stacks spewing dirty pollution from them. See picture below! This is a $1.75 Billion dollar industry for Australia and no doubt the government is looking for new revenue streams from this industry. No Worries is a favorite saying in Australia and the government uses this to their benefit as you will see by the coming Carbon Tax soon to pass in the next couple of weeks.

Bringing this full circle back to the States and locally in Colorado, our government is consuming so much energy that the fight against the energy producers will intensify. In case you need more evidence of the energy used by government here is a great breakdown of the Department of Defense daily dose! Quick breakdown for those not reading the link: 2009 consumption of delivered 932 Trillion Btu's cost $13.3 Billion; emitted 73 Million tons of CO2; Use 360,000 barrels of oil daily.

For an idea of local energy government expenses, Mesa County spent $236,544.87 in energy and fuel related expenses in April 2011 alone. If you multiply over an annual basis this equals over $2.8 Million in energy cost! This total does not include all other related expenses such as air travel and travel reimbursements. VetTheGov must point out cost for the social justice program GVT which had cost of fuel and service fees from local tax dollars in April alone of $148,714.08. The City of Grand Junction uses somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.5 Million annually! If we add in all the school district and State government energy expenditures you can you see how quickly the need for Fossil Fuels arise for our government. 

So the question of the moment once again is the government concerned with your usage of energy more than they are concerned with their own usage? VetTheGov believes government wants you to curb your very small appetite for energy because they need more than you! Remember the next time you hear a story on energy, it should directly relate back to our government's use rather than yours! 


Colorado House Bill 11-1223 and the push back against the Earth Justice Agenda!

What Agenda? Oh yes there is a huge push to indoctrinate our society with the Global Warming save Mother Earth campaign. It was subtle until we heard Al Gore screaming we will die in 10 years if we didn't do something. Then Governor Ritter gets elected and Colorado gets Green, Progressive, and highly regulated! Now Ted Turner has spoken up and is carrying the load for Al Gore.

One of the theories when considering regulations are green house gases like Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). CO2 and VOC's actually come from Mother Earth. VetTheGov is not here to debate science but just wants to bring the fact that Mother Earth is the largest producer of pollution on the entire planet. How? Volcano's, Forest Fires, and Wind Storms all place enormous amounts of CO2, VOC's, Mercury, Benzene, and Particulate into the atmosphere but you won't hear that in the mainstream media. All you need are a bunch of tornados, large hurricanes, flooding, Tsunamis, or earthquakes and the media along with the Mother Earth Justice folks take over and they will certainly link it all back to the evil United States that allows all this pollution. VetTheGov loves this link that dispels Global Warming as a hoax. One more of interest called I Love CO2!

In Grand Junction we had a very thriving Oil & Gas economy until Gov. Ritter was elected and completely changed the Oil & Gas Conservation Committee (COGCC) by adding TreeHuggers to the committee with absolutely no idea of how to drill any kind of well. Guess what happened next? Colorado went from number one in the world for drilling natural gas to last. Grand Junction also sustained huge unemployment numbers and actually led the nation at certain points. Now Colorado is listed as an unfriendly state for Oil & Gas investment going from first in the world to 81st practically overnight. 

"Sudden changes in royalties or environmental regulations have resulted in Colorado and Alaska losing favor within the petroleum industry, although regulators in both states have since taken steps to improve the situation. Colorado is improving its reputation among industry executives, but the state still has a long way to go. In 2007, it was ranked No. 1 in the world, but environmental regulations introduced since then continue to discourage investors," from Fraser Institute Survey.

During committee hearings, Earth Justice, Sierra Club, and many other environmental groups converged into the small room to discourage the republican committee members on Representative Ray Scott's HB11-1223 since most democrats typically vote and want more regulation. So how do you push your agenda? Scare tactics and legal challenges and they have perfected these without much resistance. These groups must demonize for-profit companies and vilify their drilling and operation procedures. Then the horrible word Global Warming gets mentioned and everybody believes a headline so here we are with NO jobs and NO money.

The VOC challenge weakened since the temperatures cooled and now the enviro's went after hydraulic fracturing fluids and even have a brand new website to educate and scare the masses. Just look here at all the BAD chemicals used in fracing? Regarding the COGCC, VetTheGov must note in their new regulation package, one of the main themes was regulating VOC's which added 30-40% additional drilling cost to Oil & Gas companies. The media and government will have you believe it was related to low natural gas prices.

HB11-1223 legislates the COGCC back to the original pre-Ritter days and removes the Treehuggers and adds professional educated and informed individuals that know the industry, procedures, and current technical information of drilling operations. Here is a list of the current COGCC members and their Bio's. VetTheGov will give a brief overview if they believe in Global Warming or not.

Richard D. Alward ecologist believes and teaches Global Warming. Shouldn't he have placed this on his conflict of interest paperwork?

Mark Cutright PE has several Oil & Gas ties as disclosed here along with a 27+ year career in the industry. No information found regarding stance on Global Warming.

Tom Compton Rancher and Biologist. Served on 116 panel Colorado Climate Project regarding climate change aka Global Warming. See his disclosure here. No mention in disclosure of him being involved with the Climate Project!

Michael Dowling is current chair of Colorado Land Trust. Here is Michael's disclosure listed is his role with Environmental Defense Fund that promotes Global Warming Agenda and his work with the Colorado Climate Project.

Joshua Epel recently appointed by Gov. Hickenlooper to Colorado Public Utility Commission most noted work on Global Warming was in New Mexico on their Climate Change advisory board.

Mike King currently Executive Director of Colorado Department of Natural Resources. No disclosure found on global warming stance but position and experience leans green.

Dr. Chris Urbina currently serving as Colorado's Director of Public Health & Environment. Here is an interesting article in a recent exchange of Dr. Urbina's stance on Global Warming.

DeAnn Craig PE based on credentials has the most Oil & Gas experience on the board. Here is her perspective on the Kyoto Protocol and Global Warming scare tactics.

You can now clearly see the agenda unfold before your very eyes and why Representative Ray Scott's bill is needed in order to bring out of control government under reign by removing Treehuggers and government rubber stamp votes and adding back in experienced industry professionals. Colorado needs Common Sense back into law making and regulatory oversight which ultimately will lead Colorado back into the top spot for Oil & Gas investment and a much needed boost in job creation.


Mesa County Grand Valley Transit exposed! Part 1

What does it cost to run well over 25 public buses in the Grand Valley? After spending many days going through multiple government website financial information, VetTheGov has discovered a large amount of local, state, and federal tax dollars being spent on a losing proposition for the community.

Under the TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) Mesa County receives Federal and State grants for the Grand Valley Transit (GVT) public bus system. From 2008-2010 the local tax payers have spent $5,191,932.00 for the GVT. For the 2011 budget alone the local taxpayers are on the hook for $2,582,500.00 and then the program receives another $5,760,000.00 from State and Federal grants.  See all funding numbers here! 

Click here for 2010 transportation funded grants.  Here is the County's justification study! The social justice/social equity/environmental justice found on pages II-3 and II-4 bring up many interesting questions in regards to fiscal responsibility to tax payers. In reading further in the justification study you will find it is derived from an original study used for the U.S. Forest Service and is now used for local transportation impacts. They use what is called the ripple effect. We will try and explain this process in layman's terms. 

Let's take your personal vehicle that you use for work and personal use and add the government ripple effect plan of how it impacts the local community. Hypothetical scenario will use a 25,000.00 vehicle and an annual salary of 55,000.00. This one vehicle and worker using the ripple effect now becomes responsible for every job and salaries at their work, the car manufacturer, the car dealership, the local gas stations, insurance companies, and everywhere they spend their 55,000.00 earnings and yes even their taxes for local, state, and federal employees and agencies. The return on every dollar they spend is off the charts. This is how the government we elect redistributes your tax dollars and tries to justify using the ripple effect.

Here is the link to the Federal Transit Administration which explains the grant programs being used by Mesa County. This site is where you will find what these individual FTA grants are used for and how the Federal government tentacles reach into local neighborhoods. As noted in the funding numbers the following grants are being funded in Mesa County: FTA 5307, 5309, 5311, 5316, and 5317.

In the latest article on the GVT it states they hope to reach ridership of 980,000 by the end of the year. This breaks down to 3192 daily riders since they do not operate on six holidays and Sundays.  If we use current $1.00 per rider per day this equates to $980,000.00 in potential revenue.  If we use 2011 projected budget amounts of $8,342,500.00 less $980,000.00 we have a loss of $7,362,500.00. It is hard to imagine any private sector business could keep their doors open with these types of loses. In reading the GJSentinel article the Sheriff's office has assigned deputies to ride the buses. Could this be where the school resource officers were reassigned after budget cuts. This is another example of being stuck with a government service that effects budgets in other areas of greater concern. In this case you see the bus system is of greater importance than safety in our schools.

In breaking down the spending in more detail, VettheGov located the last spending report from Mesa County's website. In line items 185170 and 185165 you will see the monthly expense from the County's General Fund for drivers and fuel for the GVT program totaling $174,770.93. This excludes any administrative or maintenance cost. GVT subcontracts the bus drivers from a huge multi-billion dollar company called First Transit locally but the main company Firstgroup is headquartered in the UK which bought out Laidlaw.

In reading through an onboard study located on Regional Transportation planning office website, the following reason was the highest score, "Passengers were asked the most important reason they ride the bus. As shown in Figure II-6, the top reasons for riding the bus are passengers who do not drive (46 percent) and passengers whose families do not have cars (1percent reported that the bus is a convenient way to travel)." Out of the 394 surveyed 110 were 18 or younger while 12 were over the age of 65. Over half of the riders earned under $15,000.00 annually.  

So here is an idea! Of the 7.3 million in loses, we could purchase vans for each government agency such as work release and hire a driver to transport these individuals wherever they needed to go and save tons of money doing so.

In regards to getting individuals to work, why isn't the burden on the employer? What happens when the grant funding stops? Why doesn't the government tell us why they keep these losing programs?