“No fracking in New York! No more pipelines either!”
The man screamed into my face. We were at a farmers’ market across from the school in my village.
I asked him to face the school. “That school may close,” I explained. “Not enough kids. Because there are not enough young marrieds here. There are not enough young marrieds because jobs have died around here.
“The pipeline and fracking you fight against would deliver cheaper gas to the factories fifteen miles away. They are more likely to stay and create jobs when they can get cheap energy. Others are more likely to start up. Given the cheap energy from fracking. From pipelines.”
I could have added that none of the folks who worked in such jobs shopped at that farmers’ market. Because it is all organic and too expensive for them. Maybe he would have understood why some of his neighbors want fracking and pipelines. And the cheap energy they deliver.
The bone on which we gnawed is common upstate. You see, he lives and works downstate. He uses his upstate property to vacation and enjoy weekends. He wants nothing that will detract from this.
I sympathize with him. He would not like aromas from dairy farms spoiling his weekend fresh air. He would not like a cheese maker to build a plant near his weekend house. He freaks out when loggers take down trees anywhere near his property. He can afford a second home. He can afford the higher-priced food at the farmers’ market. You get the idea.
Are all those who oppose these energy developments in the same situation? Are they all city mice versus country mice? Of course not. Some worry about what they believe are genuine safety risks. Some feel fracking is not regulated enough. Some want all carbon-burning to shrink or go away. They want only green energy.
I understand their concerns. But as with many issues, there are two or three or four sides. And some are worth weighing.
War, for instance. We have shed the blood of many men and women over gas and oil.
When OPEC curtailed oil supplies we suffered recessions. And deprivations. And humiliation. Many Americans lost their jobs because high-cost energy forced their employers to move or shut down.
Fracking and oil sands and pipelines will free this country and North America from OPEC blackmail.
Vast oil and gas supplies gave the Soviet communists power to imprison people. And power to shove America around. Power to cause havoc around the world. Power to muscle European countries that depended upon Soviet energy. Russia today bullies Europe with its gas.
Oil money lets the Saudis and others finance Muslim terror around the world.
Gas and oil from our fracking, sands and shale weakens those adversaries. Russia is already feeling the money crunch. It openly fears the U.S. will export gas to Europe. This will put an end to Russian bullying. The Saudis predict they will lose clout and money. As the U.S. ramps up its production. They will have less money to finance schools in many countries. Schools that preach hatred of the infidels. That’s okay with this infidel.
Lastly, cheap energy makes your heating cheaper, your living cheaper. It makes manufacturing here more likely. It is a tide that lifts all boats.
And it is likely to generate the economic activity that keeps and attracts more young folks. Young folks who may keep more schools open. And more communities intact.
From Tom...as in Morgan.