There are going to be two exciting events taking place in Northeastern Utah, my adopted home on September 28th. One will be the arrival of Secretary of The Interior Ken Salazar who will dedicate the opening of Visitor Center at the Dinosaur National Monument.
The Fossil Wall at the Monument is a fascinating thing, and believe me when I say that it, and the rest of the park itself is well worth a visit should you ever find yourself in my part of the nation. In particular I would recommend a visit to Rainbow Park at the Monument: well off the beaten path, but absolutely spectacular in terms of its scenic beauty and for the petroglyphs. You have to hunt for them, but they are there.
However, the Secretary will be pointedly avoiding the Uintah County Energy Summit which will be taking place the same day, a mere 20 minutes down the road. It is a day that will be spent discussing the current state and future of the energy industry and the latest innovations thereof.
It is a shame that the Secretary has opted not to come to the Summit , since it has been under Mr. Salazar’s aegis the energy industry has taken the proverbial shot below the belt. In point of fact Mr. Salazar will be ignoring the Energy Summit in Utah in order to meet with a group from Colorado in Utah on that day. The purpose of that meeting will be to discuss the America’s Great Outdoors, which is a lovely title for an initiative that in part will lock energy development out of even more public lands.
Ken Salazar and the Department of the Interior made decisions that destroyed jobs, destroyed dreams and destroyed lives in my part of the country. People lost their jobs, their homes, and their savings as a result of the DOI’s actions, and it would be nice for the Secretary to come and look those people in the eye and account for himself and his decisions. But I suppose it is one thing to wreck someone’s life from a distance, but another thing altogether to face that person and defend your choices.
For those of you positively giddy over the idea that Big Energy will be brought to heel under the President’s new economic/re-election plan, allow me to explain to you how Big Energy benefits a community.
Yes, a Big Energy Company finds a place that contains oil or natural gas. So they need to punch a temporary hole in the ground to get the energy out. They also repair their divots and often spend a great deal of money doing things like improving wildlife habitat, but that is another story.
To get that energy out of the ground, these companies need to hire other companies. Those companies include but are not limited to: rat hole companies, day lighting companies, fishing companies, seismic companies, hot shot service companies, trucking companies, water hauling companies, surveying companies, companies that provide food and water to the man camps, companies that handle medical and compliance issues. The majority of these are small companies, and they all hire people to do those myriad of tasks, all of which mean jobs.
In turn, the employees of those companies buy meals, clothes, food, hotel rooms, cars trucks, campers, boats, homes, laptops, I-Pads dinette sets, living room furniture, and televisions. They open bank accounts, start retirement plans, and send their kids to college. And the companies who provide all of those things have employees as well. So sales people, mechanics, waitresses, hair stylists, cashiers and grocery store stockers make money as well.
Sounds like a helluva a stimulus package, doesn’t it? People making money, spending money and investing money. On the corporate, local and individual levels.
Isn’t that what the President has been touting?
But under the current state of affairs, the only people who will be making money are people such as Al Gore, and green technology companies who donate to the President's re-election campaign.
And they have found a willing army among those evangelical fundamentalists whose religion is man-made climate change. They have digested the meme and will stop at nothing to lock up public lands, and curtail energy development of which they do not approve. They are oblivious to the fact that green jobs simply have not worked, here or abroad, and remain blind to the articles that appear in the news on an almost daily basis showing that the science behind the Climate Religion is coming apart at the seams.
I understand their point of view, it was not so long ago I thought as they do. Were it not for their closed- minded stance and their ruthless approach, I might have some empathy for them still. I wish it were possible to find some common ground with them.
And I can see why the Secretary has chosen to meet with them instead of with us. These people have an uncanny knack for getting what they want, as this article from the September 20th edition of the Denver Post shows. The Rocky Mountain Wild and the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, which sounds more like cross-dressing club than a legitimate group of enviro “errorists”, recently dropped a lawsuit with the federales because the feds caved into their demands.
For those of you saying “Who cares about oil and gas in Northeast Utah? I live in (fill in your home town here)”
You will care, when the costs to heat your home, fill your gas tank, or buy a package of frozen peas continues to go up. Want more? Okay. Rare earth metals are essential for things like cell phones, personal computers, electric cars and wind turbines. Right now we buy much of those from China. We could mine them in Alaska but…
Eventually one way or another, this issue will come to your home to roost.
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