From Jacques Hadler’s commentary (“Utah’s newest congressman wants to fast-track oil drilling — putting Moab at risk,” July 1), it’s difficult to determine whether Rep. John Curtis’ proposed “SPEED Act” would actually allow drilling “right next to Dead Horse State Park.” He offers nothing to back up his claim. Curtis says the bill only relates to approval of drilling permits that would have “no significant effects on the environment, species, historic sites, or historic resources.”
Livelihoods at risk? Again, no evidence. Curtis says the bill is a rural job creator. Skiers, mountain bikers and hikers who come to Park City, one of Utah’s big tourist destinations, pay a hefty price to recreate despite a “viewscape” tainted by abandoned silver mines. Has the viewscape of Moab and Spanish Valley from the north, the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project, dampened tourism?
Who knows? I’m pretty sure about one thing: The bike technicians who fine tune Hadler’s rentals, the burger flippers serving the “best and brightest” from Silicon Slopes after a sweaty day of pedaling and the motel workers cleaning up after everybody don’t make enough to afford much of everything a diverse economy with a range of solid jobs provides, including decent housing. Even the people who provide basic public services — state and county workers, police, firefighters and teachers — increasingly are being priced out.
Jacques, Moab, if not most of Utah, is an awful place to raise a family for those folks.
Bill Keshlear, Salt Lake City