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Energy industry works to protect the lands it uses

"Drilling ignites battle over Western paradise" (June 5) showcased the false choice between the environment and energy development without addressing the real issue: How will America be able to meet its growing energy demands without developing the abundant resources of clean-burning natural gas in the Rocky Mountain region?

As the article noted, demand for this fuel of choice has increased by 40 percent and is expected to increase another 40 percent by 2025. Yet oil and gas development occurs on less than 1 percent of the land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Careful, responsible development can ensure we produce the energy needed to allow our economy to grow while protecting the environment.

Land use for energy development is temporary - and by law, the land must be reclaimed after its use.

Our industry is committed to working with ranchers, landowners, community groups, government officials and others to ensure that we produce the domestic natural gas supplies on which consumers and industry depend, while caring for the land.

Conflict may make news, but the real news is that more than 300 companies in the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association have voluntarily developed a "Good Neighbor Policy."

This is a strong demonstration of their commitment to the communities in which they operate and their determination to be good stewards of the land.

Betty Anthony


The writer is a group director for the American Petroleum Institute.

Coalitions also foster energy alternatives

Kudos to Tom Pelton for his story "Drilling ignites battle over Western paradise" (June 5), and thanks to The Sun for investing in national coverage of stories off the beaten path.

Mr. Pelton's piece was interesting and informative, showing how unlikely coalitions are forming out West between conservative and liberal environmentalists in response to our energy policy of throwing permits at corporations.

A follow-up should show how, from New Mexico to North Dakota, similar coalitions have formed to promote a different kind of energy.

For years, farmers and ranchers who want to harvest wind energy have been working with environmentalists.

As we blast and blow up the land, polluting waters and relationships with citizens, a Saudi Arabia of wind is slipping through our fingers.

Ben Larson


Wachovia's apology belongs on Page One

The Sun's placement of the article "Wachovia apologizes for ties to slavery of its predecessors" (June 3) on the last page of the business section was puzzling. There are a large number of descendants of slaves in the metropolitan area, and a more prominent position would have ensured that more of them learned about the story.

I feel that this article, while it is a business story, deserved to be Page 1A, above the fold. I don't think many people found it where it ran.

By not putting the story in a prominent position, The Sun was suggesting it was not that important to let people know about Wachovia's apology.

It appears that there is not enough "Light for All."

Robert Murphy Matthews Sr.


A simpler solution to marijuana issue

The Supreme Court is right: It's time to stop dancing around the issue and face it head on ("Medicinal use of marijuana dealt setback," June 7).

It's time to legalize marijuana.

William Smith


EU project doomed by conflicting goals

I have been following the saga that is the attempt to ratify the European Union constitution. And it seems to me that this "union" was doomed from the start ("European nations grow protective of their identities," June 5).

There is just too much violent history and competitive nature among these nations to allow for a mutual agreement among all of them.

It also seems that a few nations want to control the rest of the union, which is a recipe for disaster.

I do not think the EU is a good collective idea for all those nations. Some nations will benefit from the union and others will not.

Let's just let these nations compete in the global economic marketplace on their own, and we'll see who is standing in the end.

Phil Bauer

Bel Air

Mexican workers fill economic void

There is no doubt that illegal immigration is a problem in this country, as The Sun notes in "Competing interests" (editorial, June 3). However, it is also clear that such immigration fills a gaping void in our economy.

Mexican workers are diligent and hard-working people who strive to make a better life for themselves, and who are willing and eager to have any real employment opportunity.

While it is regrettable that Mexican President Vicente Fox made a non-politically correct racial reference in his comments about the willingness of Mexican workers to accept manual and menial employment in the United States, his words were not really off the mark.

Our crime-filled and derelict inner cities are filled with Americans who are not interested in real work or find criminal activities more lucrative.

Efficient workers who will gladly do the job for less pay are simply desirable and valuable.

It is not the obligation of employers to threaten the viability of their businesses by paying a "dignified and living" wage so that the United States can be a country that "embraces the ideal of equality."

Those are gratuitous platitudes that are no help to the bottom line.

Mark Hotz


Dean's loose lips will hurt Democrats

Besides behaving like a raving lunatic during his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean apparently has a very short, convenient memory when he needs one.

His description of President Bush as the most ineffective president of his lifetime immediately bought to my mind the name of a Democratic president who was undoubtedly the most ineffective president in my lifetime.

President Jimmy Carter was responsible for rampant unemployment, horrendous gas shortages and double-digit interest rates. And let's not forget about the U.S. hostages who were held in Iran.

Mr. Dean is a loose cannon, but that's OK with us Republicans.

It's just added reassurance that we will continue in power in 2008 and more than likely pick up more Senate seats in the process.

Gail Householder


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