Natural Resource Gridlock

By Beacon Staff

The Keystone pipeline debacle is symptomatic of a deep systemic problem in the United States. The federal environmental laws and regulations created since the 1960s act as barriers to progress. In the case of the Keystone, progress would look like reduced dependency on our enemies for oil, breathing time for the development of significant domestically produced alternative sources of renewable energy, a reduction in the negative balance of trade gap we have endured for decades, an increase in the domestic taxable base and, of course jobs – good paying jobs in the United States. Instead of progress, we must endure the mindless rhetoric and half-truths spewed by the environmental community and the politicians they support. Our country is in a state of natural resource gridlock.

Environmental concerns and development of resources do not have to be mutually exclusive. If we had a visionary leader in Washington D.C., we would be focusing on near-term and long-term solutions to the real environmental concerns all nationally important projects would realistically encounter. Near term, technological solutions, lowest environmental impact routes and an enabled and accelerated construction time line would be pursued to build Keystone. Long term, a visionary leader would advocate a complete overhaul of our environmental laws and the regulations created by career bureaucrats. As evidenced by Keystone, we do not have a visionary leadership in Washington D.C.

It’s time for the leadership that will be an advocate for the wise use of our country’s natural resources, all of our natural resources both renewable and nonrenewable. We can have a prosperous nation and a healthy environment. We can have both if we have visionary leadership.

Jim Simpson

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