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Letters to the Editor

Editor:

A guest editorial from the Utah Farm Bureau in the Nov 17th Park Record claims that the Western States Climate Initiative will adversely impact the economy of Utah because Utah’s agriculture sector is reliant on petroleum for fertilizer, fuel for mobile equipment and transportation, and because Utah gets 95% of its electrical power from coal. While these facts are true, it does not follow that ignoring climate change will be beneficial to Utah.

When considering the costs of fighting climate change, we need also to consider both the costs of doing nothing and the benefits of rapid adaptation to climate-change initiatives. What are the potential costs to the state’s agricultural sector of longer and more serious droughts? What is the price of poorer health and increased medical costs on the residents of the Salt Lake valley when the dreaded inversions descend? Hundred-dollar/barrel oil may soon seem like a bargain, with or without the Climate Change Initiatives.

On the other hand, rural Utah in particular has enormous potential to profit from the changes inherent in the climate-change initiatives by harnessing the renewable energy sources that are best exploited in rural areas. Solar, bio-fuels and wind can become the future driving forces in the rural economy. Summit County has significant wind resources that can make this county a net exporter of clean electrical energy. Wind farms can produce enough clean electrical energy to meet county demand many times over, providing income for farmers and land owners, increased property tax base, a continuing source of new, well paying jobs and, if optimum policies are promulgated, a continuing source of royalty payments that can be applied to county schools or other projects. All that is required to bring to fruition this potential is the public vision to embrace the changes required to combat climate change.

Our governmental bodies need to immediately consider creating community development agencies devoted to promoting renewable energy by providing temporary tax abatements to encourage construction while capturing tax increment funds and/or royalties for future use. They should also consider forming a municipal electrical utility to allow purchase of long term energy contracts from wind farms and sell excess power into the grid, which can serve to preserve low county energy costs into the far future.

The choices are before us. We can ignore climate change and be at the mercy of environmental and economic forces that are bearing down upon us, or we can embrace the changes needed that will allow us to both combat climate change and profit from the changes.

Glenn Wright
Park City

Provide affordable housing, developers

Editor:

Blair (Feulner) was interviewing a member of the Planning Commission on KPCW this morning (Nov. 26). The subject I’m concerned about is affordable housing. The reality is that the three resorts are the employers of the largest number of employees. Given that (fact) alone, housing in the Park City School District for these employees and on the bus route is paramount! Dorms and rentals for these seasonal employees that are affordable to average resort employees is paramount. A requirement for PRI/Boyer Co. to build actual houses or units of housing is preferable to fees-in-lieu. The reality is that the developers would rather do fees-in-lieu. They don’t want to build affordable-to-resort-employee housing! The money given in fees-in-lieu is not on a par! No way are they equal! Any developer, especially one for a large grandfathered parcel like PRI, should provide huge employee actual living units or houses and a transit center – no free passes! The town of Park City, the School District, the traffic problem, Main Street impact

Maureen McAllister
Park City

Voter apathy is a dangerous thing

Editor:

Listen up Park City: voter apathy is a disease that is sweeping across this nation. Do not let it leave behind a trail of dead hopes and dreams. You as an individual complaining about the issues are worthless but we can come together! We can complain together! Your voice may not be very strong alone, but be a part of something, and change this country as a whole.

Like I said before, voter apathy is a disease and it is very dangerous. I am a student at Park City High School and I know this. Come on people, you’re adults here, and as adults you assume certain responsibilities, such as not letting the country fall apart into a fascist police state.

Know your candidate! Don’t be ignorant, people; voting primarily on a commercial quote is just as dangerous if not more than jumping into a pool of water without knowing the depth of said water. Do a little research if you are going to load that voting gun of yours. In contemporary times, research is very important when media is so heavily influencing our lives on a day-to-day basis. Stop listening to the media; perhaps read your news instead of turning on that television of yours and listening to biased newscasters.

When we lose votes, we create a depreciation of democracy and that is a very dangerous thing. The government already has way too much power. Stop letting them take more and more power from the very people it is supposed to serve.

Kristian Henry
PCHS senior


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