Don't Tread on American Growth, Energy Security

It appears the New York Times is once again putting its political agenda ahead of businesses in its ever-continuing pursuit of liberal, anti-growth policies. One of the latest issues the paper has decided to weigh in on is a project in the U.S. Northwest which could offer thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity and infrastructure updates to the region.

The driving force behind this project is the need to utilize Idaho's and Montana's rural Highway 12 to transport oversize equipment -- already a common occurrence on these timber- and agriculture-heavy state roadways -- at low-traffic nighttime hours. For allowing this passage, these states will receive an estimated 80 million dollars in economic benefits as a result of updates to roadway infrastructure and direct employment related to the move. This is a win-win scenario for the state citizens, who would receive all the benefits and suffer none of the costs -- a perfect boost during an economic downturn. Unfortunately, the issue has been hijacked by outside environmental groups with little concern for the involved states and their citizens. Their concern? The equipment being hauled through Montana and Idaho is ultimately destined for the Canadian oil sands developments -- a vital source of friendly fuel for the U.S. that environmentalists love to hate.

In predictable fashion, the New York Times describes the debate solely from the standpoint of a politically motivated couple attempting to stop these financially beneficial shipments through Montana and Idaho out of concern for "personal safety." The article downplays the true political goal of delaying or impairing the work in Canada.  In fact, the New York Times leaves out a key statistic when describing the supposedly "local" opposition: 96% of the comments sent to Montana officials regarding the issue have come from the NRDC's global action network. The NRDC has decided that in their misguided and quixotic battle against fossil fuels, jobs in Idaho and Montana are acceptable collateral damage. These interests have zero concern for the plight of citizens struggling during a recession or the best interest of Idaho and Montana. Even worse, their unrealistic vision of America's energy future would, if enacted, simply increase our reliance on foreign oil, eliminate employment opportunities, and raise fuel prices.

The Canadian oil sands will provide the U.S. with a stable supply of oil and gas from a friendly neighbor, increasing our energy security while initiating economic growth across the Northwest. Stopping this production will not cut American's increasing demand for oil and gas, but instead, like the moratorium, will simply shift our reliance towards unfriendly sources of fuel. What's worse, foreign companies and operations are not subject to the strict environmental laws, oversight, and ethics enforced in the U.S. and Canada, increasing the risks and damage to the environment. 

Environmental groups must face reality: "green" energy is not something that will appear overnight. Experts predict that these technologies will not be available to handle a significant portion of U.S. energy demand for decades. Cutting off our access to local sources of traditional fuels will not spur a green revolution. Instead, it will simply raise our energy prices and threaten desired energy independence and security. 

The situation in Idaho and Montana is a clear instance of international groups flooding what should be a local issue with an outside agenda to the detriment of, and in blatant disregard of, the interests of the local citizens and the country. The New York Times has once again positioned itself as an advocate for misguided liberal policies being touted by these outside sources. But the fact is that the rabble-rousers like the NRDC, whose message the Times propagates, would push us into a greater reliance on foreign oil and gas while destroying employment opportunities here at home. They seem to forget that oil and gas companies provide more than 9 million domestic jobs and a steady, affordable supply of the energy we depend on to heat our houses, drive our cars, and light our schools. Citizens in Montana, Idaho, and across the country must stand up to these sorts of ideological invasions, declaring, "Go fight your battles in someone else's backyard."
It appears the New York Times is once again putting its political agenda ahead of businesses in its ever-continuing pursuit of liberal, anti-growth policies. One of the latest issues the paper has decided to weigh in on is a project in the U.S. Northwest which could offer thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity and infrastructure updates to the region.

The driving force behind this project is the need to utilize Idaho's and Montana's rural Highway 12 to transport oversize equipment -- already a common occurrence on these timber- and agriculture-heavy state roadways -- at low-traffic nighttime hours. For allowing this passage, these states will receive an estimated 80 million dollars in economic benefits as a result of updates to roadway infrastructure and direct employment related to the move. This is a win-win scenario for the state citizens, who would receive all the benefits and suffer none of the costs -- a perfect boost during an economic downturn. Unfortunately, the issue has been hijacked by outside environmental groups with little concern for the involved states and their citizens. Their concern? The equipment being hauled through Montana and Idaho is ultimately destined for the Canadian oil sands developments -- a vital source of friendly fuel for the U.S. that environmentalists love to hate.

In predictable fashion, the New York Times describes the debate solely from the standpoint of a politically motivated couple attempting to stop these financially beneficial shipments through Montana and Idaho out of concern for "personal safety." The article downplays the true political goal of delaying or impairing the work in Canada.  In fact, the New York Times leaves out a key statistic when describing the supposedly "local" opposition: 96% of the comments sent to Montana officials regarding the issue have come from the NRDC's global action network. The NRDC has decided that in their misguided and quixotic battle against fossil fuels, jobs in Idaho and Montana are acceptable collateral damage. These interests have zero concern for the plight of citizens struggling during a recession or the best interest of Idaho and Montana. Even worse, their unrealistic vision of America's energy future would, if enacted, simply increase our reliance on foreign oil, eliminate employment opportunities, and raise fuel prices.

The Canadian oil sands will provide the U.S. with a stable supply of oil and gas from a friendly neighbor, increasing our energy security while initiating economic growth across the Northwest. Stopping this production will not cut American's increasing demand for oil and gas, but instead, like the moratorium, will simply shift our reliance towards unfriendly sources of fuel. What's worse, foreign companies and operations are not subject to the strict environmental laws, oversight, and ethics enforced in the U.S. and Canada, increasing the risks and damage to the environment. 

Environmental groups must face reality: "green" energy is not something that will appear overnight. Experts predict that these technologies will not be available to handle a significant portion of U.S. energy demand for decades. Cutting off our access to local sources of traditional fuels will not spur a green revolution. Instead, it will simply raise our energy prices and threaten desired energy independence and security. 

The situation in Idaho and Montana is a clear instance of international groups flooding what should be a local issue with an outside agenda to the detriment of, and in blatant disregard of, the interests of the local citizens and the country. The New York Times has once again positioned itself as an advocate for misguided liberal policies being touted by these outside sources. But the fact is that the rabble-rousers like the NRDC, whose message the Times propagates, would push us into a greater reliance on foreign oil and gas while destroying employment opportunities here at home. They seem to forget that oil and gas companies provide more than 9 million domestic jobs and a steady, affordable supply of the energy we depend on to heat our houses, drive our cars, and light our schools. Citizens in Montana, Idaho, and across the country must stand up to these sorts of ideological invasions, declaring, "Go fight your battles in someone else's backyard."

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