Amazon: Stay out of Colorado for your headquarters

Editor’s Note: Amazon is looking for a site in either the U.S. or Canada to build a second headquarters. The list of potential locations has been narrowed from 238 to 20 cities, including Denver.

The letter’s author: Alan Apt is a modest person who downplays his many accomplishments as a writer, environmentalist, politician, and volunteer. Learn more about Alan…

The Amazon site will offer employment to as many as 50,000 workers. There likely will be a great population surge into whichever state is chosen, heightening pressure on infrastructures, natural resources, civic institutions, and public spending.

Not every Coloradan supports the idea of Denver as the Amazon city since a large population influx could negatively impact Front Range communities from Colorado Springs south of Denver to Fort Collins north of the metropolitan area.

The following letter states reasons why Colorado should not be seen as a good location.

 

To Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon Corporation

Dear Mr. Bezos,

Speaking as a former Fort Collins City Councilperson, current member of the Nederland Board of trustees (in Nederland, Colo.), and a longtime Colorado resident, I understand your interest in potentially opening a facility in beautiful, sunny, mile-high Colorado, home to many outstanding communities. For various good reasons, 90,000 good people relocate to Colorado every year. Nevertheless, fiscal and social prudence would have you also consider:

  • Many, probably most, new-to-Colorado residents will locate and send their children to school in very close proximity to toxic industrial sites as fracking escalates the degradation of our state. The traditional zoning laws that separate toxic industrial sites from homes and schools have been set aside in Colorado by legislative and executive branches of government heavily influenced by oil and gas money.
  • Out-of-control growth has created gridlock on our highways. Our state wants to create more lanes rather than focus on mass transit and innovative solutions. Funding for essential needs has fallen far behind due to gridlock in the state capitol.
  • Colorado is mediocre, at best, in its support of el/hi public education. We rank near the bottom in per capita spending on students—in spite of voters’ attempts to correct this under-investment. Class sizes continue to increase.
  • Our state is choking on growth.
    • As housing prices and rents have soared, there is no affordable housing along the Front Range. The number of homeless children is increasing as a result.
    • Water, already a scarce resource, is becoming even scarcer as our population increases and the essential snowpack, our only water source, is decreasing as a result of global warming. Massive dams that will choke our rivers are being planned.
    • Too many vehicles and, as well, methane emissions from fracking make it risky to exercise outside most summer afternoons because of ozone pollution.
    • Inadequate environmental regulations are not protecting public health and safety.

You have a reputation as a caring and responsible person. I urge you to turn down all tax incentives being offered since our state and especially our struggling local community needs exceed yours. Please seek a location where your business would be a boon, rather than a burden, to the people of the state.

Sincerely yours,

Alan Apt

 

Learn more:

 

Recklessly gambling with our children’s future

By Alan Apt

The Webster dictionary definition of Conservative and Conservator is someone who will be a protector or guardian and will tend to preserve established traditions.

Alan Apt is a modest person who downplays his many accomplishments as a writer, environmentalist, politician, and volunteer. Learn more about Alan.

The truly conservative Republican Parties of Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and even Ronald Reagan supported the preservation of public lands and the protection of our air and water.

The current GOP attacks on public land, and on the protection of clean air and water redefines the party as radicals who are disregarding established values. Too many fossil fuel state Democrats are also following suit. They are ignoring 70 to 80 percent of all Americans, including Republicans, who support public lands and environmental rules.

Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists say the climate is changing rapidly because of enormous increases in atmospheric carbon in the 19th and 20th centuries. Even if you believe it is part of a natural cycle, it should not be difficult to agree with scientists who say that human pollution is accelerating the unprecedented rate of change.

Former Republican officials from the Reagan and Bush administrations, George Schultz and Howard Baker, have begged Congress and Trump to implement a carbon tax on industry to slow emissions—and then give the taxes back to taxpayers—while rolling back Obama’s regulations on carbon emissions.

The Republican Congress simply wants to roll back the Obama emission measures on coal, slowing the transition to cleaner fuels.

Would a true conservative gamble with the future of our climate, coastlines, water supply, and ability to grow enough food?

I think most true conservatives are not gamblers, but would at least hedge their bets by backing badly needed clean energy jobs and the training to make them accessible to out-of-work coal miners and oil drillers. One in five new jobs is created by wind and solar energy.

Wall Street is also betraying our future by continuing to disproportionately fund fossil fuels, instead of renewable energy and the millions of more jobs that could be created.

Most unbiased scientists say we are recklessly gambling with our children’s and grandchildren’s future. They remind us how a non-partisan effort saved the ozone layer by banning damaging chemicals. A healthy clean-energy, job-abundant economy could make true conservatives out of all of us.

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What can we do? Here are important steps to take:

  • Become active in the Sierra ClubWilderness Society, Earthjustice, and other organizations concerned about the environment.
  • Learn more. Here are articles to start with:  TimeEsquire; and Scientific American.
  • Speak out. Visit, call and write your U.S. representatives and senators, and encourage your friends to do the same. Earthjustice and other organizations have websites where help is available for making phone calls and writing letters.