Prevent Gross Reservoir expansion

Citizens need to band together to evaluate and prevent the destruction that would ensue if the proposed expansion of Gross Reservoir Denver Water’s Moffat Collection System Project is approved.

This project is pending with one federal permit still outstanding. Calculations for future water needs are grossly overestimated. Data show that Denver’s water use has decreased over the past several decades as water conservation strategies and incentives have been implemented. Consider the environmental impacts of explosives used to blast the rock to make concrete on site. Much of the existing 627,559 cubic yards of concrete would need to be replaced. The 12.5-mile perimeter would be expanded, flooding 400 acres of pristine wildlife habitat. The removal of up to 650,000 trees would be destroyed through incineration. This would be catastrophic, creating smoke, dust and noise pollution. There would be an inversion layer during the seven-year projected timeline for this project settling over Boulder and the metro area.

There was an era when dams were thought to be the best solution for preventing floods, creating a water supply and producing hydroelectric power. These practices are outdated and are replaced by more efficient, economical and environmentally sensitive alternatives. Thousands of dams across the United States have been removed, including the biggest dam removal project in history in Olympic National Park.

With Colorado’s arid environment, there is speculation that the 131-foot proposed dam expansion may never reach capacity. Denver Water would drain 72,000 acre feet of water out of the Fraser and Upper Colorado Rivers in efforts to fill the expansion, destroying habitat of fragile riparian zones.

The Denver Water Board might just need to consider the $20 million already spent on this dated project a wash.

By Jenny Platt, Boulder

Tax the wealthy to fund domestic programs

Politics in this country has reached the point where I would be shocked if any candidate for the U.S. House or Senate showed the courage to support a national wealth tax of 25 percent on all individuals worth $10 million or more. Here’s what we could do with that revenue:

1. Eliminate the federal budget deficit and the national debt.

2. Pass a Canadian-style national health insurance program to cover all Americans.

3. Turn student loans into scholarships.

4. Make Social Security fully solvent beyond the current date of 2034.

5. Supplement the unequal pay for equal work that women do in this country to bring it up to what men get paid.

6. Help working families pay day care expenses for their children and elderly family members.

7. Guarantee jobs to all Americans that will pay enough to lift them above the official poverty line and the official “near-poverty” line.

And there would still be money left over.

This is how much wealth there is in this country. Eighty percent of all of the wealth in the United States was never earned by those who hold it — it was inherited. It grows and grows into tens of millions, hundreds of millions, and into the billions.

No one could possibly ever need that much money. Yet I can’t find one Democrat in either house of Congress who supports a national wealth tax.

Someone should write a book about the national Democrats in the Congress and call it “Profiles In Cowardice.”

They’re supposed to care about helping all of the people more than they care about raising millions of dollars so they can win re-election.

By Stewart B. Epstein, Rochester, N.Y.

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