the McWhinney fracturing; municipal broadband; Loveland Food Tax – Loveland Reporter-Herald
The effects of fracking on health and the environment are not mentioned
All is not going as well as Mr. McWhinney would have you believe (see Reporter-Herald article, April 14, “McWhinney discusses oil and gas development”) regarding his planned oil and gas development (fracking) at Loveland. He has an interesting way of leaving out information the citizens of Loveland need to know about his plans, information essential to your well-being and the environment.
A few key things to consider that he failed to mention in the article:
Colorado’s northern Front Range, including Fort Collins, Loveland and Longmont, has been downgraded to “serious violator” status of federal ozone standards. This level of ozone is dangerous for human health and the environment. The EPA has threatened to take action to address these levels. Ozone is formed by “a chemical reaction between oxides of nitrogen and volatile compounds” (forever chemicals) much like those used in fracking; Ozone is particularly dangerous for children, the elderly and anyone with respiratory problems. It also hinders plant growth and is toxic to our animal friends.
Fracking is a major contributor to ozone in the air we breathe!
The fracturing process uses an enormous amount of water. After use, this water is so toxic that it must be transported by truck and stored in special facilities. The water resources we have are barely sufficient for current needs and are expected to continue to decline. Water must be conserved for human and environmental needs.
Loveland residents will experience increased noise and air pollution, especially during the fracking process. Particulate matter and dust will increase, in part due to the use of large trucks and increased traffic.
There’s a lot we don’t know about the effects of fracking on our health, our environment, and what lies below us where fracking takes place.
Do we want to be the subjects of a fracking experiment? Hydraulic fracturing should not be allowed in Loveland or other communities. Inform your municipal councilors and your mayor.
land of love
The Problem of Financial Transparency with Municipal Broadband Systems
It has become very difficult to obtain current standalone data for municipally run broadband systems, as most are financially tied to their power line. When a city’s broadband Internet service does not cover its costs, the city has a strong incentive to increase electricity rates rather than broadband rates. Municipally managed broadband is not just about building and offering a price, it must at some point become profitable on its own.
Unlike traditional utilities that are relatively static, such as electricity distribution, broadband is dynamic and requires constant investment to keep up with technological changes. Municipal governments are not known for their entrepreneurial spirit and most do not have research and development branches. Broadband Internet service requires innovation and investment, which most municipalities cannot provide. Because failure is not an option, municipalities are forced to use revenue from other sources to cover the growing costs of their broadband business.
The answer is not to charge the public sector a fee increase if you ever plan to raise electricity rates or use other intergovernmental funds to cover broadband Internet losses. Let the private section provide high-speed Internet, but make it responsible and competitive. Enforce antitrust laws nationwide and do not allow ISPs to divide the country so that they are the only provider in each geographic area. The political solution may be very difficult, but cutting off the nose to upset the face is not the solution either.
It ultimately comes down to a political point of view: do we want competent private companies that must be regulated and competitive, or state-run entities that will eventually become obsolete and too expensive? We certainly need affordable high-speed Internet service, but one based on economics, not emotion. We see the bed of roses but not the thorns that go with it!
land of love
Respond to long-term needs, not short-term financial interests
The April 20 edition of the Reporter-Herald featured a front-page story about City Council’s approval of an ad hoc committee to study the allocation and use of projected revenue from a McWhinney fracking company in Centerra. The formation of the committee was approved by a 6 to 2 vote despite the fact that the McWhinney business was not formally introduced to, let alone approved by, the board.
It is important to note that at a meeting on January 18, 2022, this same city council, by a vote of 6 to 2, refused to engage a panel of experts to assess the impact that hydraulic fracturing could have. on Centerra and the town of Loveland. The same council members who claim to be interested in “public safety, infrastructure and even renewable energy projects” had no interest in listening to a panel of experts who could provide them with factual information about the effects of the fracking on public health, safety and infrastructure, or the possibility of renewable energy projects as an alternative to oil and gas development. Six council members approved the formation of a committee to explore a project that has not yet been approved. Based on this action, it appears that an overwhelming majority of City Council has already announced its approval of the McWhinney Fracking Project without taking the time or effort to listen to the opposing views and conclusions of the whole current research on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing. that would allow him to make an informed decision.
The residents of Centerra and the town of Loveland deserve a city council that cares more about the long-term needs of the area than the short-term financial interests of the McWhinneys. Possible revenue for the city should not be the only or primary consideration for the city council.
land of love
Loveland should stop taxing food
How is it possible that the town of Loveland continues to impose the cruellest of taxes – a 3% tax on food?
I could go on and on about the onerous nature of most taxes and the fact that government at all levels seems to know better than I how to spend my money. But when it comes to Loveland’s tax on the very food the human body needs to survive, I’ll keep it simple – end it.
There is no way to avoid paying a food tax, since everyone needs food to survive, and this 3% tax is especially cruel to the poor who live in our community. A tax on food is regressive, which means that it has a greater impact on the poor than on the others. Additionally, a lot of research shows a higher risk of food insecurity in communities that tax food. Although the city offers a tax refund, it happens once a year, it’s cumbersome and not everyone qualifies.
I realize the town of Loveland has gotten used to the millions of dollars generated each year by taxing the food you put on the table, but it’s time to find a way to run the town without that money. I might suggest the city focus on funding essential services to run a city the size of Loveland and seek to reduce non-essentials and budget waste. If you want ideas, I would be happy to offer them to you. For now, stop taxing the food we need to survive!
land of love