RURAL FREE DELIVERY - Energy Independence?


By Mack Samples

Every president during the past forty years or so has touted energy independence as a goal for America. Even the formidable Jimmy Carter talked like America could not survive if we did not make significant progress toward that goal. But as the years flew by there was seemingly no way to achieve it. We just imported more and more crude oil and were even on the verge of importing natural gas on a large scale.

Nearly every government leader, regardless of his or her political stripe was talking about all kinds of "alternate" energy. Wind power, solar power, geo-thermal power, ethanol, and electric cars have been the subject of endless news articles. Great minds touted the virtue of each on editorial pages from the Wall Street Journal to the small town newspapers. All kinds of feeble attempts were made to push America in the direction of some kind of energy other than oil, natural gas, and coal. But it seems that it was all for naught. Despite all the rhetoric and hullabaloo, America still continued to import billions of barrels of crude oil and remains a pawn for OPEC.

But, alas, here it is 2012 and we finally really do have a chance to become nearly energy independent. The reports that are being circulated about America's reserves of oil and natural gas are astounding to say the least. Some are saying that there is enough oil and natural gas to power America for 250 years. Now that's pretty alarming no matter where you reside on the political spectrum!

But, lo and behold, those who currently run America are saying no. And, the problem is more than just Obama. He's no fossil fuel advocate, but the great bureaucracies that have been created over the past decades are worse than he is. We get a constant stream of unverified information from the bureaucracies saying no. we can't drill for oil and gas because the new technologies will ruin the environment. Or, no, we can't build pipelines because the damage to the land will be catastrophic even though there is currently about 50,000 miles of pipelines under American soil that have been there for 50 or 60 years. Yet, the only thing I can see that the natural gas pipelines running under West Virginia soil have done is that the right-of-ways have provided a good place to watch for deer during the November season.

But those same naysayers who run the country do not seem to have any problem with letting the rest of the world drill where they want to, lay pipelines all over the globe, and then sell the energy to us at usurious prices. In other words, America is not going to pollute the air and destroy the planet's environment, but it will pay through the nose for the rest of the world to do it. Some will leap forward and say that the previous statements are an over-simplification. But in my view it's just plain old West Virginia horse sense.

If China and the rest of the developed world would all say—yes, we are all going to stop using fossil fuels because they are destroying the planet, I would be the first to say Amen! But the truth is the rest of the developed world knows the same thing that those of us who live in the deep hollows of West Virginia know. The world is going to depend on fossil fuels for a long time to come. Knowing that, those countries are going to grab all of it they can get by any means they can devise, the health of the planet be damned!

America has a very fragile hold on its standard of living and the way of life that we have come to enjoy. Despite what all of our home grown critics who incessantly run down their own country say, America is still the best the planet has to offer. This country, so far, has never had to worry about its people leaving for a better life. But we have always, and continue to, worry about controlling the flow of immigrants who want to come here.

Not developing the natural resources that are available to us is a good way to start reversing that age old trend.

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