Letter to the Editor (on 51st State Proposal)


Letters to the Editor (4)


I read with interest your report and your editorial on the meeting with the county commissioners regarding the 51’st state proposal.  Are we supposed to believe it will all be good for us when we get rid of all those State of Colorado jobs and facilities in the counties and those stinky regulations and mandates stealing our liberty? I think not. What I am hearing is “any change from the status quo means we weren’t listened to”. Well things change and the status quo cannot stand in an ever changing real world.

License plate fees are a thorn in the side of some rural residents.  It isn’t clear if all the fees are objectionable or just those that resulted from the FASTER legislation passed in 2009 (SB09-108 FASTER (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) Late Fees, Road Safety Surcharge and Bridge Safety Surcharge) to accelerate the replacement of unsafe and deficient bridges throughout the state including rural areas of Eastern Colorado. As people drive less and cars get better fuel mileage the revenues generated by the fuel taxes aren’t enough to pay for the upkeep on our roads and bridges. I think this is a reasonable cost to the users of the roads and bridges. (http://www.coloradodot.info/news/2011news/03-2011/faster-bridge-project-set-to-start-near-holly)  

Oil and gas regulations passed by the legislature are of concern to some although a quick examination of legislation passed doesn’t show me anything too onerous. The law to protect water and one to protect buildings and their occupants from the hazards of drilling operations seem perfectly reasonable in fact.  http://www.faegrebd.com/20032  

The alternative energy source mandate is considered by some to be an attack on the rural residents, especially those who consume large quantities of electricity. Well the cost of energy sourced from renewables is coming down fast. In some places in the nation that sourced from solar is nearly the same as Tri-State charges our rural electric co-ops for energy from coal fired power stations. Energy coming from coal fired generators costs more than is being paid for by the end users, and that’s not fair. Why shouldn’t coal producers and end users pay for the health problems and deaths caused by that filthy energy source that poisons people and our food? Already in many states, including Colorado, the fish being caught by fishermen are not safe to eat because of mercury contamination, mercury that comes from burning coal. The Harvard Medical School estimates that burning coal in the U.S. costs $500 billion in environmental and health damage. Those costs should be paid for by the coal plants. Somehow I don’t see how laissez faire economic policies or lax regulations will protect the people from the hazards posed by coal. Ignoring facts won’t make them go away. http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?c=Page&childpagename=CDPHE-WQ%2FCBONLayout&cid=1251596685390&pagename=CBONWrapper http://www.epa.gov/mats/pdfs/proposalfactsheet.pdf http://www.lung.org/press-room/press-releases/power-plants-epa.html http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/271-38/19277-5-reasons-solar-is-beating-fossil-fuels

Gun regulations are a concern and it has been said that the legislature ignored the locally elected county sheriffs. Well they didn’t ignore the chiefs of police and other law enforcement professionals who have been dealing with the results of almost unregulated gun trafficking. I say almost unregulated because if you can buy a gun through a private purchase or receive a gift of one without a background check then the other checks are nearly worthless. Senator Morse of Colorado Springs, the Senate President and former Fountain Police Chief, is one of those who “rammed” bill through the legislature. Please forgive me if I take his judgment and that of other city police chiefs over the opinion of a sheriff (or several) with only a few thousand residents in his bailiwick.  I am a fifty year Life Member of the NRA and I have owned, bought, and sold many guns and I don’t see how the laws passed and even some of the more stringent ones proposed infringe on my rights. I proposed to the legislators who I know that the laws cover all transfers and that the background checks be instantaneously available 24/7 and be free. It shouldn’t cost to exercise my rights.

Those are some of my thoughts on the supposed reasons for the proposal for counties to secede from the state and join a newly created one. None addressed the costs which would be substantial and likely prohibitive. After all the new state would have to compensate Colorado for all the infrastructure taken (colleges, universities, school trust lands, prisons, highways, bridges, parks, Ports of Entry, etc.) and set up new including a National Guard. All commerce in the new state intended to be marketed in or moved into or through Colorado would now be interstate commerce and subject to not only state of Colorado regulations, but Federal as well.

The idea that each county should have a senator instead of determining the senate districts by population is clearly unconstitutional and  THAT has already been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. It’s called “one man, one vote”. Such a power grab by the rural residents would need an amendment to the Constitution of the United States not only the Colorado constitution..


James L Bowen
41991 County Road 2G
Boyero, CO.

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