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The less new oil/gas drilling the better

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Dear Editor:

I love living in the North Fork Valley -- the scenery, the farms, the ranches, the food and the creative people. This community provides an extraordinary quality of life. I am grateful to have my home and business here.

I run my business THEONI Designs from my art studio at home where I create graphic design and handcrafted jewelry. Views of Mt. Lamborn, the Gunnison River, orchards and pastures inspire creativity and a peaceful work environment.

The creative industries are a significant component of the North Fork Valley economy and way of life. A few years ago, when a huge amount of oil and gas leasing on public lands was proposed across the valley, I wondered what our future, as a valley, would look like. Drill, baby drill, or a future that protects all of the amazing things about this place? I hope for the latter.

A big thank you is called for to the Delta County Commissioners for supporting permanent legislative protection for the public lands across the North Fork Valley. Thank you for listening to your constituents and recognizing that we don't want the entire valley to become a drilled-out sacrifice zone.

As much as I would like to, we're not realistically going to stop using all oil and gas tomorrow. I recognize that we're going to see some drilling continue in the area for the foreseeable future. I wish that we didn't have to have any of it here. But gas drilling has happened in the upper reaches of the North Fork Valley for decades and it's happening now.

I hope that our elected officials in Congress will recognize the need to balance future energy development by setting aside other areas. Surely they can agree that not everywhere should be drilled to smithereens.

The less new drilling the better. I think taking a bunch of lands off the table is a good thing. It will help to keep our community healthy, clean, and vibrant and to attract more artists and creative-minded people here in the future.

Susie Kaldis Lowe
THEONI Designs
Paonia

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