I was encouraged by Maryann Martindale's opinion piece, "Don't close the door on the public" (Aug. 7). Regardless of your political leanings, we should all be able to agree on one thing: Government works best when it does its business openly, and not in secret.

That lesson appears to be lost on the Herbert administration and eastern Utah officials, who met in a closed door meeting with oil and gas lobbyists to plot a response to federal efforts to open a large, but limited, portion of land for oil shale development.

I'm appalled that the public wasn't allowed in that meeting so they could raise concerns and support the idea that limiting oil shale development may be a wise step for an area in Utah increasingly plagued by dangerous air pollution.

Our officials like to talk about a "balanced" approach to oil and gas, but this seems discouragingly imbalanced.

Linda Marling Church