It seems we in the North Fork Valley are about to be blessed by the BLM's proposal to open parcels here to gas and oil exploration. Unfortunately many people will just jump up and say "not in my backyard" without giving it open minded consideration.
It is just in time with unemployment almost 10 percent, the tax revenue dried up, and possibly heading into another recession. We need any new industry bringing jobs, thereby reducing our unemployment, and paying local taxes, thereby helping our schools, towns, counties that are all hurting for necessary funding. It would be nice to see businesses opening up and/or expanding instead of closing, like many have the last two or three years.
Without a doubt we will need gas and oil for decades to come even with the "green movement." The "green movement" is years away from any substantial help to the energy needs of this country, so to maintain our lifestyle we need continued oil and gas production. We do have alternatives like carpool with six people in a car, stay home on days off, get rid of our toys (boats, ATVs, etc.), trade gas-eating pickups for little compacts, eliminate farm and construction equipment, shut off our power, burn wood, sleep when it's dark, pack water, and mow our lawn with a manual mower. This would create lots of shortages that we could fill by buying from other countries, that hate us, like we have been doing with oil for years.
Everything we import is representative of the jobs we have sent overseas. It is time to bring those jobs home and/or create more. We need to eliminate our dependence on other countries and become totally independent. Then if we want to do business with a country, we can because we want to, not because we have to.
If we are going to let could be's and maybe's rule our lives, then we are not going to be an economical giant anymore. You just can't shut down everything nationwide from pipelines to refineries, dams to oil/gas production and expect our economy to ever recover. The working class' wages, in real dollars, has been going down in this country for 40 years due a great deal to the "not in my backyard" attitude. All of these stumbling blocks and hoops we make industry jump through costs hundreds of millions of dollars that you and I end up paying by higher prices or reduced wages.
It is time to quit saying "not in my backyard" and get behind industry and business and work together for the betterment of America and our communities. Both sides are going to have to create some good old give and take and be willing to look at everything with an open mind. The North Fork Valley needs the benefit of some outside income. We have a lot of small and large agricultural businesses here but other than seasonal, they hire very few people, so we need jobs for the rest of our families and residents. If we create jobs, then businesses thrive and we won't have all the closed businesses making our towns look like ghost towns.
There is no reason gas and oil can't be safely developed in the North Fork Valley with little to no interference to local agriculture and recreation and get the benefit of good paying jobs, increased sales for local businesses, and taxes to take care of our schools and infrastructure.
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