Kevin Copeland: Our side of mountain


Some people never cease to amaze us. These are the individuals “out there” who think that the lights come on with the flip of a switch and that hairdryers and electric razors work when plugged in. They take microwaves and refrigerators for granted, and that heating and air conditioning is waiting in the wings to make them more comfortable. They assume the materials and labor that built the homes and buildings in which they live and work were always in place.

They think the groceries on the table that nourish them are acquired from the store, and that after a short wait, hot delicious meals appear at the drive-in or favorite eating establishment, with cold ice cream for dessert. They think fuel flows from the pump at the convenience store, and that law enforcement, fire protection, medical facilities and local government all just function as designed and available when needed.

Oh, lest we forget, the computers they use to condemn the energy sources that enable them to criticize while they live and enjoy life in the Yampa Valley. The same energy sources, I may add, that helped and continue to build this great nation.

These people are sadly mistaken to think that emerging countries care that some individuals in temporary positions of power at the moment here in Colorado want to set an example for the rest of the world. Go no further than the California experiment and their shambled economy to see an example.

Until depleted, fossil fuels will be used to inexpensively provide the world’s energy needs. Doesn’t it make more sense to develop cleaner technology utilizing our existing infrastructures and abundant natural resources? It’s a clear choice: Use it cleanly here, or ship it overseas. They’ll gladly burn it, upwind from us.

So, people, tell us what alternative fuel sources at our immediate disposal are cheaper and more abundant than what we currently utilize?

Hydro? I guess we could dam the Yampa, but where should we put the dam? Not in my backyard, you say?

Solar? A great idea but prohibitive in costs. I know. I’ve lived off-grid and have used it since 1981.

Wind? We know the only constant breezes in the valley come from hot air.

I suspect these individuals moved here when they realized what we have and now want to close the gate and dictate to we locals what they think is best.

It is frequently quoted in the media that, through polling, the majority of Coloradans favor the green platforms of the past two administrations in regards to renewable energy. I dare these polls to ever venture over here and ask the majority of Western Slope citizens what we think of Front Range political solutions and their condescending attitudes toward our side of the mountain.

Let’s vote them out. They can go help California.

Kevin Copeland

Routt County


Scott Wedel 4 years ago

"Until depleted, fossil fuels will be used to inexpensively provide the world’s energy needs."

And there is the critical flaw in the logic. Fossil fuels do not stay inexpensive until depleted. A tremendous amount of oil is being produced and oil at $90 a barrel is hardly inexpensive. If the world's economy was stronger then that would increase demand and send prices higher.

Renewable energy has higher upfront costs and then has no ongoing fuel costs so their cost to produce energy does not increase as fossil fuels increase.


mark hartless 4 years ago

I disagree with the rosy picture Scott paints about the relatively low ongoing costs of renewables; but his assesment of how market forces will affect fossil fuel prices going forward as they are depleted is economically correct.

One must also acknowledge that 40 years ago the estimated petroleum reserves were "X" and since then we have used "X" plus, and todays proven and estimnated reserves are more that ever.

The point? We are finding more oil... and we have sure as heck found A LOT of Nat Gas in the last decade.

What factors in to the equation now is whether the greenies will let us extract it causing prices to stay low, or whether they will pitch a fit and force prices skyward so as to make "renewables" look less horrible price-wise.

I'm betting there are a sizeable number of tree huggers that WANT high prices so they can point to "renewwables" and say "see..wind is competetive with $200/ barrel oil.. "


Dan Kuechenmeister 4 years ago

The imposition of "green" energy at currently higher costs is just another way to impoverish people on the edge of financial hardship and force them on welfare/ food stamps/ disability aka some government hand out. Once people begin to receive "free" stuff their tendency is to vote for the people that give them "free" stuff. In my opinion this points us down the path that Europe is taking. The recent unemployment stats for youths under 25. Spain 55.9%, Portugal 38.3%, Italy 38.4% France 26.5%. A lost generation

from an article by Mark Whittington from Feb. 29, 2012 "COMMENTARY | President Barack Obama's Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu uttered the kind of Washington gaffe that consists of telling the truth when inconvenient. According to Politico, Chu admitted to a House committee that the administration is not interested in lowering gas prices. Chu, along with the Obama administration, regards the spike in gas prices as a feature rather than a bug. High gas prices provide an incentive for alternate energy technology, a priority for the White House, and a decrease in reliance on oil for energy. The Heritage Foundation points out that hammering the American consumer with high gas prices to make electric and hybrid cars more appealing is consistent with Obama administration policy and Chu's philosophy. That explains the refusal to allow the building of the Keystone XL pipeline and to allow drilling in wide areas of the U.S. and offshore areas."

On the good news side how about North Dakota! Looks like we have pushed that dastardly peak oil back a bit


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