The tendency throughout the Four Corners region is to lay out "both sides of
the argument" between conservation and mineral extraction. In Grand County,
known best for its fragile stone arches, spires and balanced rocks, that concept
is flawed. What should be of interest is the relationship between drilling and
any destabilizing effects that it may have on fragile natural wonders. How many
jobs Grand County can create in the extraction industries has far less long-term
value. When the Arches begin to fall, so too will the beauty and economic
vitality of Grand County, Utah. Is it worth the risk?
We need and must have more legs on the stool, not just one. The extraction
industry is vital to the vitality of Moab. Look up Moab history of the
1980’s. A few oil wells don’t constitute “oil barons”.
That’s a myth anyway. The tax revenue can and would dramatically help
improving current quality of life for residence. The possibility of millions of
dollars in revenue from the Sego Canyon projects (gas pipeline and road, now in
feasibility study) would be significantly improve opportunities in my county and
dollars to improve roads, the sewer system, our schools, etc. Soon
USU will begin their projects, leg of the stool number 3, and we would like to
add 1 more leg. So unless you want to pull millions of dollars out of your
checking accounts to give to our city and county and do that year after year,
don’t say a word. You don’t live here.
Have you seen the Bakken oil fields? Is that what you want for Moab? Where there
is a history of extraction there is also massive cleanup. The days are gone for
ravaging the earth for minerals, gas, oil, that, make no mistake about it will
be sold on the open market. As for charging "out of staters" exorbitant
fees - we could do that here too, but that won't help get the message
across - once you have scraped, blasted, fracked, and polluted ground and air
and water and killed living organisms on the land you want mined, then what?
Your legacy will be one of destruction. Is that what you want? And as far as
rules for using the land for recreation - get over not liking rules. What are
you going to do about the oil spill in Grand Staircase Escalante? Be proud of
it? While those in favoror more extraction and tying up the land by the
oil companies have their points, why be destroyers. We can all be more careful
with how much fuel, etc we use. And there are many of us who do not
"use" the land - some show respect
Tourism would not exist were it not for an industrialized economy that paid
wages that allowed recreation. Recreation is funded (fueled?) by non-essential
income. Recreation is not a stable base upon which to build a
society or an economy. It is one thing to visit Moab and environs and marvel at
the scenery and glory in the "fun". It is another to weather the slack
season and scrabble for a living until the "touristas" show up next
year. Good paying, steady jobs support Moab families and allow them to vacation
where they want to go. Development brings change that some find
hard to deal with. It is not without faults.I find it hard to be
criticized by people who wear the accoutrements of a highly civilized,
technologically advanced society for seeking to maintain the same standard of
living they so profusely flaunt. Hi-tech camping, biking, and water recreation
gear as well as synthetic fabric clothing would not exist let alone be
affordable from a tourist, agrarian based society.I feel that
development is possible if people of good faith work together. The people of
Moab need to be heard in the discussion. Sierra Club, take a hike.
I have lived in Moab for five years, guided rivers seasonally, volunteered for
the BLM and worked at Arches. What this article doesn't mention is climate
change. That is why I oppose natural gas drilling and tar sands development.
Fossil fuels are cheap because the true costs are ignored... When you get low
snowpack years it hurts farmers, ranchers, and tourism here. You also get big
fires which are expensive and destructive. No one can afford the cost of
reparations to climate change refugees either. Ever dollar we spend on a natural
gas well is a dollar we are not spending on renewable, sustainable energy that
doesn't destroy the planet.That being said, tourism is not
perfect. When I was a guide I made $4.11 a hour to work 18 hour days 5 days in a
row with no overtime. The outfitters hyper exploit their workers, make them live
in their cars or crammed into tiny apartments, and of course offer no health
care. A tourist economy could be sustainable, but it isn't now. If
Moab's recreational employers paid their guides the value of their labor,
recreation alone could fill that role, but it can't now.
The problem with calls for "balance" is that the term is usually used by
exploiters and politicians to gussy up their self-serving schemes. To prevent
going down the rat hole of a-half-of-a-half inevitable consumption of set aside
lands that are already the result of land-use choices, we should consider
opening up lands now occupied by frackers and oil drillers, including all their
owned or leased land, office building campuses and facilities, to compensatory
parks and open spaces.
@ Cats"Environmentalism is such an elitest movement that
concerns itself mostly with the esthetic needs of its own adherents."Opposition to energy development in these places is that time and again,
the energy industry has incurred "accidents" that have damaged not just
the aesthetics of the community, but also threatened water, air, quality of
life, and livelihoods of local residents. Just this past month, an
unreported oil spill was discovered, and now state and federal dollars are being
spent to figure out who is responsible and what damaged it has caused to people
relying on the local water for life. Our tax dollars time and again
are used to clean up the mess of energy interests -- whether is was earmarks to
clean up Moab's tailings from the now defunct uranium industry to
Obama's bailout of the BP oil disaster in the Mexican Gulf that not only
damaged sea life, but the livelihoods of fishermen and resorts along the Gulf
coast. Some people today still refuse to eat Gulf sea food due to its perceived
Geez, I remember well the uranium tailings, right next to the river across from
Moab. I'm pretty sure that giant eyesore didn't deter anyone from
going down there. Those nice blue ponds look cool from Dead Horse Point
anyway.I have a better idea. Let's charge the out of stators
$1000.00 a visit and an large excise tax on bike, hummer, jeep, and any other
rental. Also some exorbitant fees for running the river. Also tax alcohol
sales more. I see beer cans littering all over the place down there. Same with
Great article. Balanced and informative. Thanks, Des News.
We need more accurate revenue figures for energy development. It is easy to see
that taxes and royalties are paid to the counties and private citizens, but we
need to factor in the "hidden costs".Texas has a relatively
high tax on energy production, but in some of the fracking areas the damage to
roads and bridges, by the myriad huge trucks, actually costs more to repair than
the government receives in taxes and royalties.Lets make sure that
we aren't allowing energy companies to prosper while transferring
infrastructure costs to the tax payers!
I'm ok if we don't drill and exploit the natural resources, but
let's charge everyone from out of state that wants us to keep the land
pristine a $100.00 a day fee to visit these areas.
Both can survive. They have ever since the first oil well was tapped. When the
wells are empty, the land will return to the same. Just remember all of those
tourists use gas to get their and as far as the people that bring their horses
from Park City?--- I wonder how much gas they use to pull those trailers? I
doubt if they ride their horses all the way.
Okay you drill baby drill folks know that oil is sold on the world market,
right? Developing countries are buying this oil and to say that tapping into
these resources is a national security is laughable.Maybe if we
nationalized our oil industry then maybe the national security argument would be
Too many tourists or too many oil wells? I'd rather have the oil wells.
The 4-wheelers, mountain bikers, SUV enthusiasts have done more damage than
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure.When we have
done everything we can, Selling gas at un subsidezed $7 a gallon, and people stop driving gas guzzling trucks and SUVs 90 mph as daily drivers,
and we are driving 40+ mpg vehicles, and cracking down hard on those
who exploit and ignore our resources...Get back to me about
drilling.There is enough and to spare -- but NOT if you are
being selfish, stingy, and not being prudent.Then God doesn't
need to keep his end of that promise.
We live in Illinois and have visited Moab twice, to hike Arches and the North
Canyonlands. We will return this fall. One trip through the Bakken lands of
North Dakota was enough.According to the quantities published here the
Moab-area natural gas reserves equate to about 0.5% of the US annual
consumption; they would supply natural gas for about 500,000 MW hours of
electrical production, or about 0.01% of the US annual electrical generation.Non-public areas of Utah could be dedicated to solar generation that delivers,
in perpetuity, many times the gas reserves equivalent of electricity. CSP
generation with storage on 6,371 square miles (7.5%) of Utah could generate
“almost a third of all energy used in the United States”
(Wikipedia). Southern Illinois supplied coal and oil. That countryside
reveals idle pumpjacks: towns sit above abandoned mines, some of which are on
fire and leak carbon monoxide into basements. The twelve lowest family-income
counties in Illinois are in the south. Surely some achieved riches from the oil
and coal, but the people, in general, are left poor. Utah should beware
of throwing away its precious heritage of open, protected land. Do not kill the
goose that lays golden eggs.
Oil and gas wells are routinely put in cities, farms, orchards, vineyards, and
wildlife refuges. Beverly Hills High School has had one on its property for
decades, for example. Once established, they are quite unobtrusive. If they
can be safely put there, they can certainly be put in and around SE Utah's
recreation areas and parks. All the doomsday talk is hype without substance.
We need these resources for our national security as well as the economic
benefit of the area. Environmentalism is such an elitest movement that concerns
itself mostly with the esthetic needs of its own adherents. We can
utilize these resources without endangering the environment. The technology
exists to do this with very minimal impact. Someone being able to go horseback
riding without seeing the trench to a new pipeline is not justification for
stopping this important development. As someone who has a home that
is powered by off-the-grid solar power and is completely green, I owe no
apologies to anyone. And...I say DRILL BABY DRILL! This country needs it.
I love it when the oil baron claims they try very, very, very hard to blend in.
I remember looking off Dead Horse Point overlook and NOT seeing the potash
mill...now I want to puke every time I look off and see that ugly man made
albatross spoiling what could have, and should have remained a pristine view.
Who wants to see Moab with a population of 49,999 people living there just to
support the extraction industry? We have a jewel in the Moab area that
shouldn't be destroyed for the sake of more oil. Bob Tanner.
Get the oil industry in Moab, and the immediate effect will be loss of
unblemished landscapes and light pollution that destroys night skies. Then when
the frac operations begin, earthquakes will follow to topple all the arches.
Moab will become the calendar child for environmental disaster when Delicate
Arch falls due to the oil and gas industry.
Drill baby Drill! These liberals who want to exploit the lands for their
recreational pleasure use the very energy that we need to sustain life. Their
intellectual short-sidedness is mind numbing. These are the same individuals
who will complain about big energy when their power bill goes up 200%. Use some
logic people. We need energy!
Drill baby drill
Current generation consumes anything and everything leaving nothing for the
future. The kids and especially grandkids will have no gas, and in the process
of extracting it all will be left with nothing but waste land. Look at Dead
Horse Point overlooking the Potash settling ponds. Brilliant move all in the
name of energy.
I too am worried about the coming time when individuals and families will have
very restricted access to "public" lands. These restrictions, however,
will be a result of too many people trying to visit and not a result of use of
Energy and industry must stay away from our parks and monuments within reason,
however we must not allow policies and regulation to lock the public out of
these great areas. Otherwise it will be only the very elite that will be able
to see and enjoy what we are trying to preserve for the people.