Weigh all options in bid for energy independence
One of my many favorite writers on Sunday’s opinion pages is Karen Cookson. Her last two [May 12 and March 24] articles were about the dangers of fracking for natural gas in Sharon Springs, as well as other locations in New York.
I have driven through Sharon Springs, her hometown, and would feel the same way about possibly having the land disrupted by natural gas pipelines, coupled with the possibility of contaminated water wells.
She points out that the carbon output of fossil fuels destroys the ecosystem, which, in turn, adds to global warming. She further states that all of these problems can be eliminated by simply using the tested technologies of green energy (wind, solar and battery). The benefits of green energy would result in more jobs, a healthier planet and, of course, healthier people.
I have no argument with any of her fears and aspirations, however, to be fair, I would like to add some arguments by the pro-fracking crowd.
We have in this country enough natural gas to become the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. We could create enough jobs in the areas where fracking is allowed to reduce unemployment back to normal levels (below 5 percent).
The increased production of natural gas would have auto manufacturers converting gasoline engines to run on natural gas, which has less carbon output than gasoline, in time making us more energy-independent. By switching to natural gas, we could save billions of dollars, by keeping the money in the United States rather than the Middle East.
Since both arguments seem valid, they have their limitations. I suggest a serious discussion that puts all options on the table: the nuclear power option, the oil option, the green energy option and the natural gas option, so we can become less dependent on other countries for our energy needs.
Where is outrage over Bangladeshi capitalists?
I read in the May 14 Gazette that the death toll in the Bangladesh garment factory collapse has reached 1,137 — nearly half the total who died on 9/11.
Those who committed the 9/11 attacks were called terrorists, and those responsible for the deaths in Bangladesh to enhance their bottom lines are labeled capitalists.
Enraged, our government took swift action and initiated pre-emptive wars against the terrorists. Disappointingly, our elected government officials, at nearly every level, greedily choose to get into bed with the capitalists.
GOP continues making much ado about little
The so-called Obama administration scandals being frantically pursued by Republicans in Congress are a sham.
In the first scandal, the IRS scrutinized groups with the words tea party and patriot in their names before clearing them for special tax-exempt status. I think it is appropriate that those words were red flags to IRS employees charged with ensuring that tax-exempt groups are not political action committees (PACs) in disguise. Just a guess on my part, but perhaps these tea party-affiliated groups were flooding the system and attempting to subvert the intent of the law. I applaud the IRS for working on behalf of the taxpayers to limit abuse of the tax code.
The so-called Benghazi scandal has been fully understood and explored since before the election. The State Department made mistakes and Hillary Clinton has taken responsibility for those mistakes — even though the fateful decisions were made far below her level. She and [Secretary of State] John Kerry have promised to investigate and take corrective action. That isn’t a scandal, no matter how frantically Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) would have us believe that it is.
Finally, the matter of the subpoenas of Associated Press emails is a battle to control leaks of classified information that has been fought between the press and every administration, Republican and Democrat, going back to the time of Eisenhower and beyond.
Republicans in Congress bend their every effort to obstruct anything that President Obama proposes. These Republicans are just falling back on their tired old playbook and hoping the American people don’t remember what happened when Republicans had control of the White House. These so-called scandals are a sham and expose the GOP as a party that has lost its way.
Food drive was most successful yet
Schenectady County Food Providers would like to thank the post office, the citizens of Schenectady County and Price Chopper for a wonderfully successful (and largest-ever) food drive.
Thanks to Price Chopper’s generous donation of bags to fill with food donations, the citizens who filled the bags, and the post office collecting all the bags, the Schenectady County Food Providers received over 80,000 pounds of food for Schenectady County’s hungry. That was almost a 50 percent increase in previous years’ food drives.
Thanks again to you all!
Gail Van Valkenburgh
The writer is the SICM Food Pantry director.
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