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Biden energy policy bad for business

No, I’m not a Trump supporter. Too many highly competent individuals such as Rex Tillorson outlined his shortfalls, his pronouncing decisions with very little or no backup, and his constantly calling people names just turned me off.

With common sense, I did back some decisions or positions he made or took. One of them is on energy. There is no question we need to take steps to clean up our air and environment. That said, here are some of President Biden’s initial steps that affect us negatively:

Stopping work on the Keystone Pipeline has effectively killed thousands of jobs in both Canada and the U.S. while also potentially raising our energy prices to some degree. President Biden to his credit has been quoted saying it would take 25 years in one case and 50 years in another case to move to fossil-free energy and takes this step with no job replacements, etc. Let’s hope he reverses himself on these steps until he gets his ducks lined up.

Here then are some of the problems:

Petroleum Association of Wyoming Communications Director Ryan McConnaughey commented on Biden’s Keystone XL Pipeline decision on Thursday.

“Canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline is a step in the wrong direction for economic recovery, environmental sustainability and safety,” he said. “Pipelines are the safest and most efficient means of transporting petroleum products across the country. For Wyoming producers, access to pipelines are essential for getting product to market as efficiently as possible given the distance Wyoming natural gas and oil must be transported.”

In addition to revoking the Keystone XL Pipeline permit, Biden signed executive orders to temporarily halt oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Acting Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega signed an order Wednesday suspending new oil and gas leasing and drilling for 60 days, according to the Associated Press.

The Petroleum Association of Wyoming and the Western Energy Alliance said in a press release on Wednesday that a ban on oil and gas development on public lands could cost the economy $670 billion over 20 years.

“Over the next four years, the human cost of fulfilling Biden’s campaign pledge would be an average of 72,818 fewer jobs annually,” the release states. “Lost wages would total $19.6 billion, economic activity would decline $43.8 billion, and tax revenues would drop $10.8 billion by the end of Biden’s first term in Alaska, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

“By 2040, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would decline by $670.5 billion and average annual job losses would exceed 351,000 across the West.”

The release adds that “between 2021 and 2024, a drilling ban would eliminate: 18,228 jobs on average each year, $10.6 billion in oil and natural gas investments production valued at $3.8 billion, $2.1 billion in tax revenue to the state, $10.3 billion in GDP, $4.7 billion in wages.”

A Google search indicates more than 6,000 everyday products get their start from oil, including dishwashing liquid, solar panels, food preservatives, eyeglasses, DVDs, children’s toys, tires and heart valves.

I can only hope our President along with his analysts gives more thought into clean air initiatives.

John Krueger, Clarksville

Restore teacher bargaining rights

I am calling on our area state legislators to restore educator bargaining rights for hours, workload, and working conditions. These rights were taken by the Legislature in 2011, and this must be reversed this year. The reasons are very simple:

Number one: When educators have a say over their working conditions, workload, and hours, they can make sure that time at school is focused on learning, growing, and academic challenges. Teachers know what’s good for students in learning, and we know how to help them get there. What we need is the leverage to make it happen.

Second: Restoring these crucial bargaining rights will help retain educators. A recent national survey of educators done by Horace Mann found that 77 percent of educators work more this year than last year, 60 percent enjoy their job less, and 59 percent do not feel safe working under their district’s health and safety precautions. Consequently, around 27 percent of educators are seriously considering leaving the profession. Losing anywhere near a quarter of educators would be a devastating hit to our state, and giving teachers a say in our working conditions, hours, and workload will help retain educators.

Lastly: Restoring these bargaining rights wouldn’t cost the state any money. Giving teachers more of a say in their hours, working conditions, and workload will simply give teachers greater leverage over existing dollars, helping to ensure that they are spent on the classroom and in appropriate ways.

I hope area legislators will heed these words and show they support educators.

Erin Braune, Jeffersonville

Clark out-recycling Floyd

I found the front-page article in the Saturday edition about Clark County setting a recycling record interesting and yet depressing as a resident of Floyd County who strongly believes we should be doing more than we are.

Clark residents of Jeffersonville, Clarksville and Sellersburg are charged $34 per year for curbside pickup. The rest of the County is charged $17 per year to finance the solid waste district and its drop-off sites. Board members of the Floyd County’s solid waste district believe that their constituents would be unwilling to pay for improvements that could help us achieve the same kind of performance. Perhaps, sadly, they are right.

David Isaacs, New Albany

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