natural gas

One set of rules for me...

...and another set of rules for thee. That's the anthem of the left.

At least one Ithaca Journal commenter experienced a Captain Renault moment on Saturday:

For yea, verily, the local Gannett newspapers (the Ithaca Journal and the Elmira Star Gazette) had the audacity to publish a piece over the weekend by Jon Campbell, an article that points out the role that Ithaca's Park Foundation has played in anti-gas drilling activism.

Predictably, hypocritical hilarity ensued in the comments at the Journal.  An example:

I'm frankly shocked that Jon Campbell, who has been covering this issue for Gannett for many years, could have put his name this shoddy, obviously biased, article. It makes me wonder just who is behind it, and how far up in the Gannett chain that person is. The very idea of questioning the authenticity of the strong, effective citizens' grassroots movement in NY is absurd. Nothing but sour grapes by the industry. And that doesn't qualify as journalism.

I can't tell you how many times some of us have been accused of being shills for the gas industry because obviously NO ONE could be part of a "grassroots movement" in favor of safe, regulated energy development in NYS.  Such a notion is patently ridiculous to folks like the woman who wrote the above comment. And yet she clearly expects the kid-glove treatment when it's her pet "grassroots movement" that is the subject of discussion.

And on a related note, a little blurb from the same edition of the Star Gazette:

Model legislation is topic of movie

CORNING — The League of Women Voters of Steuben County will show the film “The Unit­ed States of ALEC” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Southeast Steuben County Library in Cor­ning. The screening is free to the public. Calling itself an edu­cational charity, the American Legislative Exchange Council devel­ops what it calls “model legislation” for state legislators to introduce in their own name into their respective state legislatures.

But detractors claim it is a group of corpora­tions and wealthy indi­viduals who push their agenda, which ranges from privatization of education to ending collective bargaining.

As I've noted in past posts, the League of Women Voters is not some group of kindly, non-partisan blue-haired ladies—more of a red-headed league. Yes, they have an agenda.

And ALEC has been a target of the left for quite some time. Why? ALEC is about—gasp!—"limited government, free markets, federalism." 

So assuming that, as its "detractors claim it is a group of corpora­tions and wealthy indi­viduals who push their agenda," where's the problem exactly?  Don't Adelaide Gomer of the Park Foundation, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, et al—including corporate entities—fund and push leftist agendas?

Hypocrisy is the hallmark of the left.

Party line

Now, really, these are human beings we're talking about.  Can there be such a thing as a disinterested party?

In the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin:

The New York State Attorney General’s Office has launched an ethics inquiry concerning votes by Southern Tier town board members related to natural gas drilling, according to documents obtained by the Press & Sun-Bulletin.
In single-page letters sent in October, Assistant Attorney General Judith Malkin indicated that drilling-related action by town boards earlier in the year raised questions about potential conflicts of interest.
“We have been alerted to concerns about Windsor Town Board members with signed gas leases voting on issues related to hydrofracking,” one of the letters states. “This concern raises possible conflict of interest issues.”
“In that regard,” the letter adds, “would you please send us a copy of the town’s ethics code”...
ITHACA — In the run up to an appeal of Norse Energy v. Town of Dryden, this week New York state Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-125, filed a document supporting the town.
Documents are still being filed in the appeal, which will be heard by the New York state Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department. A date for the trial hasn’t been set.
Lifton said she supports local zoning control over oil and gas development.
If municipalities have the right to zone against oil and gas development is a question that’s central to the case. A lower court ruled in favor of Dryden during the case’s first hearing.
"Based on research into both New York State statute and case law, I believe -- and two Supreme Courts so ruled this past spring -- that the Town of Dryden and municipalities across New York, retain the ability to use their zoning powers to decide to exclude or limit gas drilling within their borders,” Lifton wrote for a public statement. “I am hopeful that the Appellate Division will uphold the two rulings from the lower courts.”
In a post from a year and a half ago (which I suggest you check out—the more things change, the more they stay the same), I had written, "Babs is not your father's (or grandfather's) Democrat.  Her philosophy is much closer to that of Marx—Karl, not Groucho (although you could make a case....)."
And the Democratic Socialists of America, with which Babs is so closely allied, is itself tight with the CPUSA. At Trevor Loudon's New Zeal:

Contrary to popular opinion, the US Democratic Party does not set much of its own policy.

Democrat policy is actually dictated by the labor unions and radical think tanks, such as the Center for American Progress, and the Institute for Policy Studies.

The unions are dominated by the US’s largest Marxist organization Democratic Socialists of America – which also works closely with the C.A.P. and I.P.S...
In case you think this has gotten pretty far afield from the topic of fracking, it hasn't at all.  In fact, it's where we've fallen down repeatedly—we haven't connected the dots even when they were there in plain sight, and we've been too bashful to call a spade a spade out of some misplaced desire to be seen as "taking the high road."
Time to baldly point out that the other side has an agenda of its own, one that many of us are passionately opposed to.
I do get concerned at times when someone says "Well, you’re a landowner so you shouldn’t make decisions on these issues. What town board member in this state is not a landowner?...Who doesn’t have an interest?
Prescisely.  The "interest" may not be quite as tangible as owning land but it's no less real.


House of cards

In the NYT:

A group closely allied with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo received $2 million from gambling interests last December as he developed a proposal to expand casino gambling in New York.
Mr. Cuomo’s support for expanded gambling, which he made a centerpiece of his State of the State address in January, had a profound impact. Within weeks, the Legislature endorsed a constitutional amendment that, if approved once more by lawmakers and then by voters, would allow for seven full-scale, privately owned casinos, potentially worth billions of dollars.
Genting, a subsidiary of Southeast Asia’s largest gambling company, made an additional contribution of approximately $400,000 to the group allied with Mr. Cuomo during 2011. The New York Gaming Association, a trade group founded by Genting and other companies that operate racetracks and electronic slot machines, chipped in the $2 million.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, strongly disputed any suggestion that he was influenced by money from the gambling industry...
And, as we all know,
But wait—there's more:
“To try to suggest an improper relationship between the governor and gaming interests is to distort the facts in a malicious or reckless manner,” Richard Bamberger, a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, said in an e-mail...
That's us—malicious and reckless all over.
The contributions went to the Committee to Save New York, a business and labor coalition that raised $17 million and spent nearly $12 million in 2011, much of it on campaign-style television and radio advertisements praising Mr. Cuomo and supporting his proposals to cap property taxes and slash state spending.
Founded by real estate developers and business executives at Mr. Cuomo’s urging shortly after he was elected governor, the committee has rapidly become the biggest spender on lobbying in Albany, providing not only critical backing for Mr. Cuomo but also a counterweight to the labor unions whose money and political muscle have traditionally dominated the Capitol.
What supposedly hugely influential lobbying group isn't even mentioned here?  There'll be a quiz at the end.
...An official with the association said that it had contributed $1.5 million to the Committee to Save New York on Dec. 1 and $500,000 on Dec. 6. Around the same time, Mr. Cuomo unambiguously took the gambling industry’s side, writing a newspaper op-ed article on Dec. 4 saying that he favored expanded casino gambling in New York. Within days, the Committee to Save New York also adopted the issue, adding legalized gambling to its list of priorities for the 2011 legislative session.
In his State of the State speech in January, Mr. Cuomo raised the stakes further, calling for the constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling and proposing to transform Genting’s planned resort near Aqueduct into a destination casino resort that would include the nation’s largest convention center.
“This is not about chips and cards,” he said in the speech. “This is about the jobs that the casino industry generates.”...
Hmmmm...  Definitely read the whole article.
The column is clearly intended to be an exposé of the cozy relationship between Cuomo and the gambling industry—with the emphasis on how labor unions, presumably including public employee unions, are really not all that influential any more in state politics.
But in their efforts to make those points, the authors left out a couple of other crucial pieces of information.
Gambling tends to come with its own ABCs: addiction, bankruptcy, crime, and suicide.  Doubt that last one?
In a 1995 report from the Maryland Attorney General entitled, “The House Never Loses and Maryland Cannot Win: Why Casino Gaming Is a Bad Idea,” it was reported that in Gulfport, Mississippi, suicides skyrocketed 213 percent in the first two years after the casino opened there, and in Biloxi, they jumped a staggering 1,000 percent in the first four years after the casino opened.
Casino gambling in NYS...what could possibly go wrong?
Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and somehow expecting a different result?
And now we come to the other missing piece of information and the promised pop quiz...isn't there some other lobbying group in NYS besides the Committee to Save New York and the labor unions that supposedly has a huge influence on policy-making in Albany but that went unmentioned in the NYT piece?
Wait, it's on the tip of my tongue...oh, yeah—the natural gas industry!
You know—the one that former PA Governor Ed Rendell just wrote would "foster an economic, environmental, and security revitalization for our country and our state." The one that could bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. The one that DEC Commissioner Joe Martens inanely said might be permitted in parts of NYS where there is "less resistance and less opposition and there is not a local land-use plan in place..." 
Who needs to tap the resource we need and use and that's right under our feet? And who would want to encourage manufacturing jobs when we could be...blackjack dealers?
It's a house of cards.
h/t Jim

Reptile dysfunction

...Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson says the federal government is suffering from “reptile dysfunction.”
As the local paper, The Gonzales Cannon, noted, Patterson has declared that Texas will sue the federal government if it lists the [Dunes Sagebrush] lizard and other previously-unheard-of species on the Endangered Species List, thereby limiting development of West Texas land for oil, gas and heavy-metals exploitation and production.
Speaking at Faye Hardin’s “Insight USA” conference in Lubbock, Texas, on March 29, Texas Senate Republican candidate Ted Cruz seized on the issue as well, saying that in Texas, “we talk more about that lizard than the Geico lizard.” He said, “That’s our lizard,” quickly adding, “They make darn fine boots”...
Definitely read the whole column.
And on a related note, why don't we hear more about cogeneration?  I'll tell you why—because it's a viable technology that's based on—gasp!—natural gas.

Anyone for dining in the dark on delta smelt whilst shod in lizard boots?

A-maze-ing..., not so much. Earlier posts about our lords and masters are here, here, here, here, and here.

I guess Paul Krugman never taught Econ 101

To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil...

Here at Redneck Mansion we've been a little busy but this column at was just too juicy to ignore:

The economist at the fishwrap newspaper of record defends the president's energy policy of Solyndra, Chevy Volts and algae while dismissing the oil boom on private lands as a small-town hiccup with no impact on price.

New York Times columnist and Keynesian economist Paul Krugman asks in a recent column why gas prices are rising if we are in the middle of a domestic oil boom. Doesn't the "drill, baby, drill" crowd claim, he argues, that prices will drop "if only we would stop protecting the environment and let energy companies do whatever they want"?...

...Keynes did not repeal the law of supply and demand, Mr. Krugman, and increased worldwide demand from places like China has helped keep prices up...

...With a straight face, Krugman says "the oil and gas industry doesn't create many jobs," and he dismisses the Bakken shale formation's contribution to North Dakota's 3.2% unemployment rate as "only possible because the whole state has fewer residents than Albany."

Well, the unemployment rate in Albany County in New York state was more than double North Dakota's in December 2011 at 6.7% and at 8.2% for the entire state. Perhaps New York could benefit from an equally vigorous development of the portion of the Marcellus Shale formation...
...Krugman opines that "the environmental costs of fracking have been underplayed and ignored."...
...Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who was recently called an "oil whore" by that champion of civil discourse, actor and part-time environmentalist Alec Baldwin, notes that since fracking was first commercially applied in Oklahoma in 1949, there has not been a single documented case of contaminated groundwater in more than six decades...

Funny...all of a sudden I feel like singing...

...come on, it's natural...sing along—you know the words.

That's not my pick-'em-up truck in the picture but it could be.

At the Daily:

Pickup makers plan to swerve around $4-a-gallon gas.
General Motors said yesterday that it would begin selling trucks next month that will burn both natural gas and traditional gasoline. Chrysler is expected to make a similar announcement today.
The new models are promised as gas prices climbed for 28 straight days. A gallon of regular is now selling for an average $3.77 nationwide, according to AAA, and could top $4.25 by next month.
Meanwhile, natural gas prices have fallen to close to a 10-year low, thanks to a relatively warm U.S. winter and an exploration boom in the oil fields of North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas.
GM will tweak its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup models at Indiana factories to hold canisters of compressed natural gas. When combined with traditional fuel, the trucks will be able to cover more than 650 miles without gassing up, according to the company’s announcement yesterday...
Finding natural gas, however, is a challenge...
Oh, that'll change.
How can I keep from singing?



IntermissionTime to catch our breath and get some popcorn before Act II.

According to the Ithaca Journal, Judge Phillip Rumsey found that a clause in the New York oil and gas law does not prohibit municipalities from banning gas drilling or using zoning laws to prohibit it.

Thomas West, attorney for Denver-based Anschutz Corp., which has sued the town over it's ban, said his client will decide on whether to appeal within 30 days.

"It's a legal decision that should be wide open in the appellate courts, and we still remain confident in our positions," West said in a phone interview. "We certainly believe that if this case goes up to the Appellate Division, that the appellate courts will, we think, find some of the legal arguments we've put forth to be persuasive."

I hope the line isn't too long at the concession stand.  Or at the exit.

Text of the decision (pdf)

The Plot Thickens... 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, 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.


Here be dragons

You unlock this door with the key of imagination.  Follow along with contributor Cicero Romanus:

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”  Today, “informercials” worthy of a Dr. Goebbels award for best propaganda film, such as Gasland, have introduced fear of “Frack-enstein” into the debate about natural gas development by hydraulic fracturing in New York State and throughout the United States.  Opponents of development offer exaggerated claims of dangers to our water and environment to halt development.  It is with that background that the following was written to demonstrate there is real need for fear, but for energy independence and national security if development does not take place.
In May, the Governor of New York, responding to vocal pressure from within his own party and from environmentalists backed off on his stance that New York should have well regulated hydraulic fracturing natural gas development without local or “home rule” option.  He signed a bill into law that gave every local jurisdiction authority to regulate or ban the practice.
In response, several companies in the energy industry sued New York State for the value of the leases they had already purchased in New York State.  In addition, one company announced a new energy surcharge that would be imposed on customers in New York State, because the state had the ability to produce energy resources but would not do so in its own backyard.  Other companies soon followed.  One company spokesman said, “New York has chosen genteel poverty over economic jobs and growth.  May they be happy in the path they have chosen.  We will turn to other states that welcome business, value good jobs, and are more economically realistic.”
In June, Iran announced that it had successfully built a number of nuclear weapons and that henceforth Iran must be respected as a member of the “nuclear club.”  The President of Iran also said that Israel must disappear from the face of the Earth.  He said that Iran had the necessary missiles to deliver their nuclear weapons on Israel and even to reach the vital interests of western powers.  Asked about “mutual assured destruction,” he proclaimed that if necessary Iranians would become nuclear martyrs to wipe out the Israeli state.
The following month, Iran began holding “naval exercises” in the Straits of Hormuz, through which passes much of the western world’s and the United States’ crude oil supply.  Iranian ships effectively blocked the channel.  In one effort to clear the channel a U.S. destroyer was rammed by an Iranian gunboat and severely damaged with some loss of U.S. lives.  Iran claimed that any effort to clear the channel would be regarded by Iran as an act of war.  The President of Iran reminded the nations of the world that Iran was now a nuclear power.
With the oil supply through the Straits blocked off, the price of gasoline and home heating oil in the U.S. began to spike upward sharply.  Gasoline by late summer was at five dollars a gallon, that is when supplies could be found.  People who remembered the oil embargo during the Jimmy Carter years re-lived the shortages.
By August, small amounts of oil had been released from the national strategic reserve.  However, this offered no long term solution and the bulk of the reserve had to be held to be sure the U.S. military could operate in potential wartime.
In September, the U.S. economy, bedeviled by fuel shortages impacting the transportation of products and people, began to severely contract.  Prices rose rapidly, supplies did not make it to grocery stores or work places on time.  With a lack of fuel, some business began reducing their work forces.  Blackouts and brownouts began occurring.  Operators of the U.S. electric grid said they could no longer keep the grid on all of the time in all of the U.S. and began a program of pre-scheduled “rolling blackouts.”
In October, the President of the United States was told by Iran that they would reopen the Straits if “satisfactory conditions were negotiated honoring the aspirations of the Islamic peoples and which limited the U.S. ability to interfere.”  The President was invited to go to Teheran to negotiate.  A weak U.S. President, extolling the virtues of negotiation, accepted and was received in Teheran, accompanied by only the limited delegation allowed by Iran.
Iran offered to reopen the Straits if the United States abandoned all support and defense of Israel and gave Iran a “free hand” in dealing with Israel, the U.S. military was reduced by 90% and all aircraft carriers were scrapped, all prisoners at Guantanamo and those accused in relation to the World Trade Center released, and if the U.S. would accept Sharia law as the supreme law in any of its towns or cities with an Islamic majority.
The U.S. government considered its options, including its military options.  The President of Iran made clear that Iran could and would use its nuclear weapons if defied and would suffer any retaliation meted out, going instead to paradise.  The U.S. inventoried its fuel resources at home.  The pipeline that could have brought natural gas from Canada had been delayed and could not be built quickly enough.  Drilling in the Arctic reserves would take time.  Overriding local and state laws, adopting an energy policy that would make national security paramount, could not be done because the President said he would veto any such law.  Small package nuclear reactors were considered, but also could not be built or installed in time.  Nothing could be done in a timely manner.
The President determined that the Iranian terms must and should be met.  “The United States must understand the aspirations of Islamic people and the people of Iran and conform our actions to their needs.  While we still of course support Israel, they will be on their own in matters of their defense,” he said, reading from a teleprompter during a nationally televised address.
In November, the incumbent president lost every state in the union, carrying only the District of Columbia by a narrow margin.  With U.S. military power greatly diminished, the era of the United States as a super power came to an end.  Since nuclear blackmail had been successful, Iran continued to repeat it, while other nations, no longer in fear of U.S. military power expropriated U.S. interests across the world.  North Korea invaded South Korea.
In December, while the outgoing president was still in office, Iran made impossible demands on Israel and when they were rejected, launched a nuclear attack.  Israel was largely obliterated, but retained enough nuclear weapons and capacity to respond in kind.  The resulting fallout spread into the atmosphere and truly poisoned water and crops around the world.  The world faced famine.  The radiation level in the Straits was so high that most of the world’s oil supply was now cut off from immediate shipment.
The incoming president said he would do all in his power to develop domestic resources but pointed out that the rebuild would take several years at a minimum.  Into the resulting power vacuum stepped China, now the world’s only superpower.
Every great empire and nation state eventually declines and falls.  If you were a typical Roman in the third century, would you have anticipated the decline and fall of Rome?  Consider whether energy dependence could be the cause of the decline and fall of the United States, the achilles heel that allows the very destruction of our way of life if not our very national existence.


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