Combating climate change

In Colorado Springs we have already experienced our fair share of climate-change driven natural disasters, from the devastating Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires that destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and took four lives, to the historic 2013 flooding that followed shortly after.

The average temperatures in our community have been rising over the years and Utilities is now predicting that 70% all of residences will have air conditioning installed over the next few years. Colorado Springs is 2.5 degrees hotter than the rest of the state, and Colorado is often in the top 10 States with the biggest heat gains. Last summer, record-burning wildfires gave us terrible air quality, putting our health and wellbeing at risk.

There is a better path forward and State legislators have an opportunity in the final week of the 2021 legislative session to put us on that path with HB21-1266, titled “Environmental Justice Disproportionate Impacted Community.” We know it will take all hands on deck to swiftly reduce the harmful greenhouse gas emissions from Colorado.

Colorado Springs Utility Board members and staff are proud of the important steps we have taken to help prevent climate change. By retiring the Drake Power Plant by 2023 and investing heavily in renewable and distributed energy, we are already on the path to significantly reduce climate pollution from over the next decade while still providing reliable and affordable energy. Just last summer, our Board committed to reducing carbon pollution 80% by 2030 by going coal-free. This means that Colorado Springs will be done with coal before many of the State’s other large utilities. If we continue to do our part in Colorado Springs, the passage of HB21-1266 should not affect us in any negative way.

But we want to encourage everyone else to meet Colorado’s climate goals too. At this point, Colorado has a long way to go in a short amount of time. According to a recent Environmental Defense Fund analysis, Colorado is set to miss its 2025 climate goal by 13-24 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and its 2030 goal by 31-40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Not only do we support HB21-1266, and its regulation of the oil and gas, electric and industrial sectors of our economy, we appreciate that it gives extra protections for the most vulnerable in our State who are the most affected by pollution. We urge our elected leaders at the state level to support this critical legislation as it goes through the legislative process.

Richard Skorman, Council District 3 and Council President Pro-Tem; Yolanda Avila, Council District 4; Nancy Henjum, Council District 5

Colorado roads are awful

We have just returned from a five-day driving trip through Kansas and into part of Missouri. It was an enjoyable time as we helped a brother-in-law celebrate his 90th birthday.

What wasn’t so pleasant began when we left Highway 24 and headed east on Interstate 70.

The contrast of two roads was irritating. The Interstate road was like going from a nice soft ride to a miserable bumpy ride.

This continued all the way until we hit the plains of Kansas. The Interstate became a smooth ride. Having good roads in poor ole-country Kansas continued on into St. Joseph and Savannah, Mo..

The fun family time and trip home made all those issues dissipate until we entered our beautiful Colorado headed for Colorado Springs. The rough roads were so obvious I was almost embarrassed to claim Colorado as home.

Gov. Polis should be ashamed and embarrassed, especially as he is trying to get billions of our taxpayer money for fixing roads and the transportation system. This is another Polis pie-in-the-sky plan, which will never change anything, except around the golden dome in Denver.

Oh, there will be miles and miles of road construction cones throughout Colorado, but with very few workers and equipment present. That’s the Polis way of doing business.

Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

‘Flying saucers are real’

In the 1950’s there was a popular prime time game show called “I’ve Got a Secret.” One episode had as its guests U.S. Air Force pilots and the General Manager of the Great Falls, Montana Baseball Team, Nick Mariana. Their secret was that they all saw flying saucers. That’s what UFOs were called then.

I saw the film that Mariana had taken. It showed two circular objects flying above the Great Falls ballpark in the nighttime sky for a short time, then abruptly disappearing. They weren’t planes nor weather balloons nor comets nor flights of birds. I don’t know what they were. Neither did anyone else.

Air force pilots are selected for, among other things, their keen eyesight, their high intelligence, their stable temperament. They report only and all that they see. These flight officers aren’t about to risk their careers by coming up with a cockamamie story about space travelers who are about to attack Earth. If they say they saw something strange in the sky, you can bet that’s what they saw.

The air force had a Project Blue Book, which evaluated reports of UFOs. Most were explained as natural phenomena or aircraft or something else. They were definitely not extraterrestrial vehicles.

Project Blue Book had its doubters. They thought that the air force had something to hide. Who’s to say it didn’t?

I recall a bumper sticker that said, “Flying saucers are real. The Air Force doesn’t exist.”

David J. Baker

Colorado Springs

The ‘coming coup’

My response to Trig Travers, 6/5/21, on: What’s Going On In Colorado?

Trig, I was heartened to read your thoughts in the Denver Gazette. No! You’re certainly not alone. I’m a Colorado native (born and raised in metro Denver), also once proud to say so but far from proud today. Several years ago the Denver Post published one of my opinion letters in which I predicted a “coming coup” slowly making MY Colorado unrecognizable.

The years since then have more than proven my prediction. It was bad enough digressing from red to purple but Colorado has digressed much further. From shady nighttime dealings (out with the death penalty!) to knee-jerk reactions to gun violence, protecting the homeless (and their encampments) and illegal aliens, to the growing disrespect for law and law enforcement (a la “peaceful” protests), youth who today aren’t interested in bettering themselves (long-hanging “Help Wanted” sign in the store window where I work/my husband and I almost run off the road by street racers/walked into an armed robbery at Walgreens by four teenagers indiscriminately waving stolen pistols). Never in my life have I been so disheartened. Coup indeed: I’ve somehow become an entitled small-w-white non-entity. I’m confused and sickened by cancel-culture, wokeism and an apparent taste for socialism. I too ask: what’s with this madness??

I finally switched to the Denver Gazette where I can read like-minded letters, such as yours Trig, and well-written editorial pieces such as Victor Hanson’s.

Don’t lose heart Trig! There are a lot of us out here who are just as disgusted but we have to be proactive and push the pendulum back to some normalcy.

C Murphy

Aurora

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