The United States has a wealth of minerals, oil and natural gas. We have the ability to make ourselves energy independent, erase unemployment and turn our economy around. What’s even more impressive is we have the talent and innovation in the people of our country to achieve this.
We have a new oil field in Alaska larger than any previous discoveries. We have centuries of coal, we have a pipeline proposal to bring a new oil source from our good neighbors in Canada and we have large new oil fields in the Dakotas. Yet many of the great-paying, great-benefit jobs that accompany these resources sit unfilled because our system has these projects stifled in red tape and bureaucracy. Frivolous lawsuits brought by so-called environmental groups are absolutely killing our job market and economy.
Am I promoting the pillage of America? Certainly not, we are resourceful and have found many ways to utilize our natural resources in a responsible manner.
We can and will continue to do so. We do not need self-serving groups telling the entire country how to work and live, while they slowly destroy what our parents and grandparents built.
For some strange reason, it appears the United States has chosen to follow Spain’s lead and we believe we can develop some kind of green energy economy. Yet, we have not recognized that Spain is like the rest of Europe — broke, in debt and suffering from unemployment higher than ours.
On the other side of the Earth sits Australia. It is projected that Australia will be debt free by 2020. Australia has a wealth of minerals and coal utilized around the globe. This is providing jobs, and royalties are flowing back to their government.
The basic industries we are talking about generally generate three to four jobs for each job in these industries. All these jobs pay well and provide excellent benefits.
In addition, it is the path to energy independence from foreign oil and the path to preventing our dollars and jobs disappearing oversees.
Recreation and tourismmore valuable than energy
Here in Grand Junction, we are surrounded by natural beauty. We have the majestic Rockies and the Grand Mesa to the east, Colorado National Monument and the amazing high deserts to the west. Down south there is Mesa Verde and up north there is Dinosaur National Monument.
Grand Junction is in the middle of America’s outdoor playground. It is unique to the United States and, indeed, unique to the world.
The long-term recreational and tourism value of these assets is enormous. This economic value is sustainable and long lasting.
If we, the natives in this wonderland, are good stewards of these assets, they can go on providing us with economic value and growth forever.
We cannot lose sight of this value in pursuit of short-term profits. We cannot destroy the sustainable economic value of these assets in order to create a few short-term jobs.
There is no doubt that uncontrolled extraction of oil, gas, coal, uranium and minerals will damage the recreational and tourism economic value of the natural assets that surround us.
Yes, recreation, tourism and extraction can co-exist, but not if the extraction industry uses least-cost methods that result in damage to the land, water and air, the very things that provide the recreational and tourism value.
All too often, the extraction industries privatizes profits but leaves us, the taxpayers, to clean up their messes. This is nothing new and has got to stop.
It’s time to see Grand Junction as a hub for recreation and tourism, which is sustainable and long-term, and not just a boom-bust energy center in which an industry leaves behind environmental messes that we all have to pay for.
Obama gets failing gradeafter 34 months in office
Mr. Hope and Change obviously wants to create a nation humbled, humiliated, casting-aside capitalism and a nation of individual freedoms for one where the people are government-controlled, and those who strive to succeed are punished.
A gallon of regular gasoline the day Obama was inaugurated was $1.79 on average in the United States. Today that price is $3.59, a 100.6 percent increase.
The number of food stamp recipients has risen since Obama took office from almost 32 million to over 43,million, a 35.1 percent jump.
Long-term unemployment has soared more than 146 percent during the same 34-month period.
Staggering hope and change, isn’t it?
The number of American citizens living in poverty has risen from 9.5 percent and the number of unemployed has jumped almost 25 percent as of Aug. 31.
The number of unemployed blacks has risen from 12.6 percent at the end of George Bush’s term to nearly 16 percent today, a 25.4 percent increase.
Our national debt is up more than 43 percent since Obama’s inauguration.
Hope and change anyone?
John Adams said it best in 1826 “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
My sources for this are the U.S. Energy Information Services, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Standard and Poor’s, Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury and Heritage Foundation.
MAX L. SMITH