energy development

The Plot Thickens...

...an essay by contributor and Tioga County resident Jerry Troeger.  You can't make this stuff up.

***

In a recent link posted by Nick Schoonover of the Tioga County Landowner’s Group captioned “Follow The Money Trail”, some light was shed on the well-funded and well organized opposition to natural gas development, especially here in New York State.  However, evidence suggests that there is far more to the story than most people are comfortable talking about and its implications are ominous.  I ask you to consider the following:

In spite of his remarkable business accomplishments, wealth and powers of persuasion, George Soros is not anyone that I particularly admire or trust. His rise to power reads like an excerpt from a political strongman’s handbook.  He likes to manipulate things, including the economies of whole countries like Czechoslovakia, and his financial ambitions nearly broke the Bank of England.  In terms of his vision for the future, Mr. Soros is also one of main architects of the proposed ‘New World Order’.  If you are not familiar with the concept, it provides for one World Government, one World Bank and by definition, one ruling class.  There is little doubt as to where the rest of us fit in. In short, this is Socialism on a global scale. My main concern is that his radical vision of the world ‘as it should be’ may someday become our reality. 

I cherish my right to free speech and welcome the opportunity to pursue my dreams. Anything less is not what the Founding Fathers of our country had in mind for us when they crafted the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  In this fundamental way, there are numerous grounds for disagreement between our two philosophies.

Within his vast financial empire, Mr. Soros and his constituents are heavily invested in foreign energy importation.  He makes a lot of money on the fuel we purchase so the more we are dependent on foreign energy, the more money he makes.  Insuring that investors like himself are able to leverage these markets effectively requires extensive capital and cooperation at the highest levels.  He has both.  And although I will not directly accuse anyone in government of collusion, it seems odd that any efforts to lessen our dependency on foreign sources of energy are being shot down on a regular basis.  Somewhere, there must be a method to this madness.

The proposed Keystone oil pipeline from Canada for example, which would have cut  oil prices drastically in the U.S., provided thousands of jobs and increased our supply, was indefinitely delayed by the White House over ‘environmental concerns’ when nearly every credible analyst called its implementation absolutely safe and a ‘no brainer’ for the betterment of our economy.  The same is true with regards to natural gas development in our area.  We are being strategically bogged down in a sea of bureaucracy and indecision while millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent on worthless ‘Green Energy’ schemes that have led to little more than bankruptcy.   They have also fattened the pockets of many of our elected officials and their families. It’s all just a bit too cozy.  And if you ask yourself whose interests all of this serves, I do not think you will find your name on the list.  I know mine isn’t.

Bringing things closer to home, there are more thought-provoking facts to consider right here in New York State.  When Governor Andrew Cuomo first took office, he appeared to be receptive to the possibilities associated with natural gas development.  He then appointed Joseph Martens as the new Commissioner of the D.E.C., replacing Pete Grannis. Not long afterwards, Cuomo had a change of heart and began to back away from the gas industry as a whole. The curious thing here is that, prior to his appointment, Martens spent twelve years as the head of the Open Space Institute, an organization founded and funded by none other than George Soros.  The question then becomes: was the Martens appointment one of merit or one associated with an agenda?

The recent (and ongoing) influx of over 16,000 letters to the D.E.C. in opposition to natural gas drilling is being solicited by the well-funded and politically motivated MoveOn.org, another Soros affiliate.  And the infamous Walter Hang who, in my opinion, is a hack whose job it is to stop gas development by any means with his ‘truth be damned’ policy and deceitful approach to ‘public awareness’, is in part being funded by environmentalist groups with ties to…you guessed it…George Soros.  You do not have to be a rocket scientist to connect the dots—and this information is readily available on the Internet for anyone to see.  All you need do is take the time to look.

The controversy over natural gas is not about the water we drink, I assure you.  This country and most modern countries throughout the world use natural gas in over ninety percent of its households.  Historically, gas has been used for heating, lighting and cooking for over one hundred years yet we still have an abundance of good, clean water readily available at our fingertips.  What does that tell you? Supporters of the natural gas industry have systematically debunked all contrived fears over the drilling issue and the SGEIS is one of the most comprehensive and enforceable energy regulation documents ever written, yet inexplicably the battle rages on.

Getting back to where we started, let’s paint this picture in broader strokes. In order to fundamentally transform any society, the first thing you need to do is to disrupt the existing one in as many ways as possible.  The economy is always a good place to start because it makes the job much easier.  Conversely, one of the LAST things you want to do is inject money into that society because it makes the job much harder.  Money empowers people, stimulates their creativity, boosts the economy and reinforces their sense of self-worth and individuality.  Most people understand this and are eager to work for the things they want because they have goals that can be achieved in a Capitalist society. It is what makes this country great.  But does this in any way fit the profile of a Socialist philosophy?  Or is it simply an obstacle on the road to transformation and control?

No matter which end of the political spectrum your core beliefs fit into, there is the possibility that aspirations for a global transformation by a powerful few could be at the heart of the domestic energy issues we are currently facing nationally, as well as locally.  Of course, I could be wrong.  But the evidence is suggestive and it raises more questions than answers.  In other words, when things don’t make sense, I wouldn’t be too quick to bet the farm until I knew the whole story.  Right now, none of us do and that’s my point.

If it is in fact the footprints of Global Socialism we are seeing on our doorstep, then the pieces of the puzzle will begin to fit and there would be reasonable cause for concern.  Time will bear witness to the truth.   It always does.  I only pray that while we are able to do so, the decisions we make now are the right ones.  If we are wrong, we may not get a second chance.

It is said that “The truth will set you free!”  Now more than ever, it may be the only thing that will keep us free. We owe it to ourselves and our children to find out what that truth is. 

***

See related One of Nine posts here and here.

 

Bet you didn't know...

...that the great-great-great....-great granddaughter-in-law of Silence Dogood is an elderly resident of Dryden named Dora Dogood. No, really. That's Dora's picture over there on your right.

Anyway, Dora has done some exploring and discovered One of Nine.  We have a feeling that Dora's going to be a regular correspondent.

And since energy development (or the lack of it) is such a hot topic in Dryden, here's some historical perspective as well as some random musings from the old girl: 

It does my heart good to see the fine work being performed by our Dryden Town Board in returning our town to its bucolic past.  Having come to Dryden 88 years ago, I have seen much change, little of it for the better.  We need to protect Dryden and the current Board and such wonderful community groups as DRAC are fulfilling my dreams, no growth, no change.  But, why stop there, why not roll back the clock and restore our wonderful past?

As a child, I remember heating our homes with fireplaces, burning local wood and occasionally using coal stoves.  Oh, the crackling fire!  There was no need for heating oil, natural gas, or electricity.  Chopping wood was good exercise.  People rose with the Sun and went to bed at a decent hour.  People knew their places.  Prohibition kept our men sober.  Our roads were unpaved and should be again for traffic calming.  People did healthy exercise walking miles.  I remember the quiet winter period, when snow closed in and we enjoyed quiet periods in our homes. For really long distance travel, we could restore the Lehigh Valley Railroad and bring back the Black Diamond.

I’m grieved by the noise and fumes of traffic as people go about their business.  Horses are a far better source of motive power and do not use fossil fuels.  They also reproduce.  And there is the fun of grooming them and taking care of these most loyal friends. Simple narrow trails would be less costly for the State and our towns to maintain that roads. And, sleighs in the winter are great fun for those semi-annual trips to the grocery!

It is not enough to simply ban gas drilling in Dryden.  Moving beyond that, let’s move into environmental harmony with the planet by banning automobiles, pulling down the power grid, and legislating the removal of furnaces and air conditioning units throughout the Town.  We can become a model of conservation, living the simple basic and healthy lifestyle of our ancestors.  Those who do not want to protect our planet are free to move elsewhere.

In my day, I attended school at the Octagon on Hanshaw Road.  The one room school house was far better than today’s school “campuses.”  We children helped each other and the younger children.  We learned or we paid the price.  Teachers were allowed to impose proper discipline.  And, by returning to the one room school with children walking there, think what we could save on school buses and energy.

By rejecting effete development, we can encourage people to return to Jefferson’s dream of a farming nation.  Small rural farmers, that’s what this country needs.  No big corporations building jet airplanes or space vehicles.  My late husband, Benjamin Franklin Dogood, built buggies in our barn.  If we are to venture into space, why not return space ship building to small individual entrepreneurs?  Big corporations are evil. But, I’m so proud of foundations using hundreds of millions in inherited money to support those who, like me, would have us all remain of modest means, living the simple, plain, life as we know it and all must live it.

So, I urge the town board to honor the wishes of the community and to protect us from change, while mandating a return to simple earlier values.  We love our land, our air, and our water and only by dismantling the trappings of a technological and electronic society can we bring back the peace and tranquility of the past.  Those who do not wish to go along should be either compelled to do so, have their property confiscated, be forced to move elsewhere, or have their anti-social conduct criminalized.  A ban on all forms of economic development and a totally embracive zoning code reaching every use of land in the town is a good first step. I just know with officials like ours, there is no need to worry about “freedoms” getting in the way of the social good.

Dora Dogood
Town of Dryden

Related: : "We're not hobbits" at South of 5 and 20.
 

Crikey! Pigs are flying!

In case you missed it...an endorsement of development of shale gas resources from—wait for it—David Brooks at the New York Times:

...John Rowe, the chief executive of the utility Exelon, which derives almost all its power from nuclear plants, says that shale gas is one of the most important energy revolutions of his lifetime. It’s a cliché word...but the fracking innovation is game-changing. It transforms the energy marketplace.

 
The U.S. now seems to possess a 100-year supply of natural gas, which is the cleanest of the fossil fuels. This cleaner, cheaper energy source is already replacing dirtier coal-fired plants. It could serve as the ideal bridge, Amy Jaffe of Rice University says, until renewable sources like wind and solar mature.
 
Already shale gas has produced more than half a million new jobs, not only in traditional areas like Texas but also in economically wounded places like western Pennsylvania and, soon, Ohio. If current trends continue, there are hundreds of thousands of new jobs to come.
 
Chemical companies rely heavily on natural gas, and the abundance of this new source has induced companies like Dow Chemical to invest in the U.S. rather than abroad. The French company Vallourec is building a $650 million plant in Youngstown, Ohio, to make steel tubes for the wells. States like Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York will reap billions in additional revenue. Consumers also benefit. Today, natural gas prices are less than half of what they were three years ago, lowering electricity prices. Meanwhile, America is less reliant on foreign suppliers.
 
All of this is tremendously good news, but, of course, nothing is that simple. The U.S. is polarized between “drill, baby, drill” conservatives, who seem suspicious of most regulation, and some environmentalists, who seem to regard fossil fuels as morally corrupt and imagine we can switch to wind and solar overnight.
 
The shale gas revolution challenges the coal industry, renders new nuclear plants uneconomic and changes the economics for the renewable energy companies, which are now much further from viability. So forces have gathered against shale gas, with predictable results.
 
The clashes between the industry and the environmentalists are now becoming brutal and totalistic, dehumanizing each side. Not-in-my-backyard activists are organizing to prevent exploration. Environmentalists and their publicists wax apocalyptic...

Read the whole thing.

Free radicals

Here at Redneck Mansion, there's always been a lot of haggling over definitions.  You know, like "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."  Or, "What does 'deficit' mean?"

Here's an interesting definition...free radical: an atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron and is therefore unstable and highly reactive. Free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer and cardiovascular and other diseases.
 
Hmmmm...hold that thought....
 
***
 
With respect to the Anschutz case...the Dryden town board are true believers when it comes to energy development (or more precisely, the lack of it) and probably only talk to fellow true believers.  It's likely that they and their supporters agree as to the strength of their case.
 
Or maybe they're just whistling past the graveyard.  Hard to say.
 
Town counsel, who gave his imprimatur to the ban language written by a board member, also an attorney (Shakespeare: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.") may be at least somewhat excused for perhaps telling the board what they wanted to hear—after all, counsel is there at the sufferance of the board who effectively sign his paychecks.  
 
Since counsel is now getting paid to defend his legal reputation, he wins even if he loses....and the taxpayers get screwed no matter what happens.
 
Did the town board seek an independent, unbiased opinion as to the legal "niceties" and their chances of winning a lawsuit in this matter?  Apparently not, but it would have been wise since everyone involved—board members and counsel—was prejudiced.  Before spending $150K, investing $5K to get an unbiased presentation would have been the better and more reasonable course.
 
But it doesn't seem to have crossed their minds.  Naïveté...or arrogance...or something else?
 
If a private social services agency, say, faced a potential $150K lawsuit, it would tread very carefully indeed.  The possibility of ending up on the losing end after expending $150K of precious resources would loom large and might act as a deterrent to inviting such a suit. 
 
But what's $150K of taxpayer money?—there's always more where that came from.
 
Most importantly, though, defending leftist principles trumps everything else.
 
Words matter and language is important. The people defending those leftist principles, not just in Dryden but throughout Tompkins County and beyond, are way, way, way left of merely "liberal."  We should start changing the language we use to reflect that.  We could call them "progressives" (a historically correct term) or "leftists" or...something that more accurately reflects their really radical nature.  Wait—maybe that's it. Radicals...unstable, reactive, damaging.  They want to fundamentally change this country right down to the local, town level, something old-style "liberals" wouldn't have dreamed of.
 
And in context, the above quote from Shakespeare is even more apt:
 

All:
God save your majesty!

Cade:
I thank you, good people—there shall be no money; all shall eat
and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

Dick:
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

Cade:
Nay, that I mean to do.

Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2, 71–78

 
Look up Jack Cade.  Once the demagoguery begins, things never end well.
 
(more than a h/t: co-authored with TR)
 

St. George slays the frackosaurus...

...just not in Poland. Another great catch from South of 5 and 20.

That progressive paragon of probity, that altruistic archetype, George Soros is virulently opposed to fracking everywhere, not just in the US, right?  Errrr...not so much:

....San Leon Energy is just the kind of huge, multinational exploiter of the earth's resources that have New York's anti-energy true believers' panties in a wad.   Rather that targeting Soros, however, these zombies would rather burn gasoline driving all over the Finger Lakes, fighting to raise the cost of their neighbor's heating fuel. The real class war is taking place right under our noses...

Read the whole thing.

But you knew that

Gas company to sue over town's drilling ban.  Update: here is the link to the same story at the IJ

Anschutz Exploration Corp. plans to file a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Tompkins County to have the ban struck down in the town of Dryden, according to the company’s Albany-based attorney, Thomas West. He said he expected the lawsuit would be filed this week.
 

With the state moving toward allowing high-volume hydraulic fracturing, Dryden has been one of a handful of municipalities across the state that have altered their zoning regulations or passed legislation meant to ban the activity.

Read it all.  (h/t South)

The green jihad and "benefit corporations"

The hypocrisy meter has to run full-bore not just here in the US but everywhere:

It seems rarely a month passes without some new assault on the lifestyle and housing choice preferred by the overwhelming majority of Australians: the detached suburban home. Denigrated by a careless media as ”McMansions” or attacked as some archaic form of reckless housing choice which is suddenly “no longer appropriate” (according to some planning or environmental fatwa), the detached home is under a constant assault of falsely laid allegation and intellectual derision...
 

....I’m not proposing that the leftist green agenda which is waging war on the detached home turn the blow torch of blame to the wealthy, nor am I suggesting that there’s anything wrong with apartment and townhouse developments. But what’s wrong with letting market forces play more of a hand without the overt moralising and environmental hand wringing that seems to accompany decisions on urban planning policy? Is it really necessary to malign the detached suburban home, in order to make the alternative more attractive?

We are talking about middle Australia – and their counterparts in the USA, UK and elsewhere – which is under the barrage of assault for having the temerity to choose a form of dwelling that actually suits them... 

....And there’s one of the great ironies in all this: those who advocate denying housing choice and enforcing apartments over detached homes, public transport over private, and inner city density over suburban expansion, invariably seem to do the opposite of what they preach.  Next time you come across one of these green jihadists waging war on the suburban home (and the people who live in them), ask them if they live in a house or a unit, how many children they have, ask how many cars (or homes) they own, and ask what their power bill is like....

(h/t Janis)

There are several posts here on Agenda 21 and ICLEI, which is a phenomenon here in Tompkins County not just in other parts of the US or in Australia. As we've said here over and over again, all of these things are all of a piece: sustainability, environmentalism, certain kinds of zoning, opposition to energy development...Private property? Freedom? Fuhgeddaboudit.

And if you think that this agenda isn't pretty far advanced, think again. Ever hear of Benefit Corporations?  I hadn't either.

Benefit Corporations are a new class of corporation that are required to create a material positive impact on society and the environment and to meet higher standards of accountability and transparency. Model legislation was drafted by Bill Clark from Drinker Biddle & Reath

Benefit Corporations are what used to be called "crony capitalism" or—dare I say it?—"fascism."

Where do these things exist? In New York State for one (where it unanimously passed both houses of the state legislature and is awaiting the Governor's signature):

New York Benefit Corporation

New York State Seal

Status: Passed Senate 62-0 and Assembly 139-0

Sponsors: Speaker Silver (A4692-a) and Sen. Squadron (S79-a)

Legislation: A4692-a and S79-a

Key Supporters: ASBCBuffalo FirstLocal First IthacaNYS B CorpsSinglebrook Technology,

Quotes/Testimony: Speaker's Press Release

What are the other states with Benefit Corporations? Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont, and Virginia.  The states that are currently in this pipeline are California, Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

We need to educate ourselves and our neighbors and toot sweet.

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