Rick Hammel: Energy is important | CraigDailyPress.com

Rick Hammel: Energy is important

Energy is important

To the editor:

Energy development is vital to Moffat County’s economy, but it’s not unreasonable to think that such oil and natural gas drilling could make Craig’s air look like the acrid pall that hangs over Beijing – the same foul air Olympic runners refused to compete in earlier this year.

Pinedale, Wyo., Town Councilman David Smith said as much when he and other concerned Pinedale residents visited Craig last month. Pinedale, which sits next to the extremely dense and polluting Jonah Field in the Upper Green River Valley of Wyoming, was issued a first-of-its-kind air quality warning by the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year. The air there was as bad or worse than that of Denver or Los Angeles on a bad day.

The Bureau of Land Management is completing an EPA-mandated study of how future energy development in the Little Snake Field Office, which has jurisdiction on BLM land in Moffat and Routt counties, will impact air quality. The study doesn’t consider the cumulative impacts of all the regional energy development and fails to address the effects of degraded air quality on human health.

I urge all Craig residents to pay close attention to this air quality study and encourage the BLM to study these air quality impacts in more depth. Our children, our wildlife and our quality of life depend on it.

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Rick Hammel