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Oil and gas is not a threat to our community

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Dear Editor:

I'm a recent graduate of CMU and attended a public meeting hosted by the Sierra Club and Western Colorado Congress regarding what they refer to as the "Oil and Gas Threat Map." I came into the meeting with an open mind, but quickly discovered the threat map can be misleading to the public, and the Sierra Club had no interest in explaining why. Their clear-cut agenda to oppose the oil and gas industry showed to be more important than the public's concerns and comments. The "Threat Map" was described as an unbiased tool for mapping oil and gas pollution, but is solely based on projections, estimation, and what Earthworks considers to be a "threat" to the population. The word "threat" itself is a pretty moving word, especially when discussed with population. However, the areas shaded on their map as a "threat" do not even exceed the EPA's level of concern. The shaded areas are based off of what Earthworks considers to be high risk or have a high level of concern. The word threat was just used to instill fear in people that were not aware of the stringent air pollution regulations that are already in place and must be followed by the oil and gas industry. Throughout the meeting, the accuracy of the data used to create the map was continually questioned by a CMU land management professor and engineer. The speakers showed no interest in even considering the facts provided by the professor or in the public comments. Their responses were generic and they often blamed "ongoing studies" or "lack of research" to support their claims. Oil and gas is not a threat to our community, but providing misleading information to the public about the oil and gas industry is. It was proven to me that the Sierra Club and other meeting sponsors were there in an attempt to further promote their agenda, while disregarding the unbiased facts that were presented to them.

Mikayla Bradshaw
Grand Junction

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