You know – I’ll freely admit I’m not the smartest man in the world. Not even close. I’m not even sure what I’m doing half the time, let alone what others are doing. But I pay attention to politics and what’s going on in the country, and get involved in discussions mostly as a hobby. I get lots of good stuff for the blog that way. A couple of things happened last week that have me scratching my head and thinking “Huh?”
First of all the Obama administration nixed the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada, at least for now. Citing a need for more environmental studies, even knowing the number of jobs the project will create in our slow and floundering economy, the President seems to be bowing to environmentalists (part of his base) in refusing to make a final decision until after the November election. The pipeline construction, maintenance and operation is estimated to create around 20,000 jobs. Yes, that’s 20 thousand.
The bottom line is that the Unites States does not have available, at this time, any reasonable, affordable alternative energy source for oil. Our vehicles run on oil and oil products. Certainly there are electric vehicles out there but there are none affordable for the average American at this time, particularly in light of the current economy. We are going to be dependent on oil for the next ten to fifteen years regardless of what other energy sources are developed. Sure, we need alternative energy sources. I have no problem with that. But in the meantime continuing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil rather than getting it from Canada (and developing our own) is simply ridiculous. Yet we slap ourselves in the face over and over by refusing to do things for ourselves.
Secondly, the Defense Department recently awarded a $345 million contract for military light attack aircraft to Sierra Nevada Corporation who, in turn, will be working with a Brazilian company, Embraer, to produce the planes. According the Hawker Beechcraft Corporation the government didn’t even allow their company to bid on the contract and therefore the awarding of the contract was unfair. They also claim that their AT-6 aircraft performed better than the Brazilian made counterpart and that it was more popular with the pilots that tested the planes.
Awarded to a stateside company the contract would have provided at least 1400 jobs, mostly union jobs, and would have kept the money and employment in the United States. Instead the planes will be fabricated mostly in Brazil and those jobs will not materialize here in the U.S.
In 2010, there was an accident on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that caused millions of barrels of oil to be released into the Gulf. All offshore drilling and oil production was halted by the President pending cleanup of the spill and research into how to prevent it from happening again. Even after the spill was capped, offshore oil production was left dormant for six months, leaving thousands of people out of work in an economy that was already hurting. New offshore drilling is questionable at best due to pressures from environmentalists yet, last year the President approved a $2 billion loan to Brazil to help them implement their offshore oil program. Rather than open new wells in our own waters and explore new oil fields (such as ANWR) the President is helping other countries develop their oil programs and assisting them with job creation. (And by the way – if offshore oil drilling is too dangerous to the environment why are we assisting other countries in the development of their own offshore oil program?)
So my simple mind is having difficulty understanding how these decisions to keep Americans out of work are being made. (I'm sure some of you are agreeing with the "simple mind" part.) Alaska has a pipeline. It was condemned by environmentalists, during construction, as being dangerous to the environment and wildlife yet it’s been in operation for decades with very few problems. So I’m having trouble understanding what the problem is with the new pipeline. It seems environmentalists merely like to prevent humans from progressing forward and, in some cases, from surviving at all. Take the case in the San Joaquin Valley in California. In 2009, the irrigation systems were closed by the government because a 2 inch minnow living in the canal has been placed on the endangered species list and it occasionally gets caught in the irrigation pumps. Environmentalists, in their love to protect animals of all types, completely disregarded the people living in the area in favor of the fish. The farmers were out of work and their families were hungry yet the environmentalists, aided by the government, told the farmers they and their families are irrelevant. One has to wonder about the sanity of those who place animal life over that of human families.
A large part of President Obama’s State of the Union address had to do with jobs and the economy for working class Americans. He paraded figures that were supposed to indicate a recovering jobs market. He promised middle class America that more jobs would be coming their way. He told them to rely on him and the government to help create jobs so that families could keep their homes and recover from the economic funk the nation is in.
Obviously, while the President was standing before Congress and the nation telling them one thing, he was actually doing the opposite. President Obama had the opportunity to create nearly 22,000 jobs which would have been a step forward in his promise to the American people. Instead he and his administration have proceeded to deny jobs through their actions and, in the case of our new military aircraft, send jobs overseas. Change we can believe in? Maybe not…