America needs to capitalize on her abundance of natural gas. That subject has been examined numerous times at this site and elsewhere. It can heat our homes, power our industries, generate our electricity, and fuel our vehicles. It can create jobs that fuel our economy, and it can completely change the world’s political climate.
We import over 70% of our energy needs, and export hundreds of billions of dollars in the process. Money that could be rejuvenating our economy is instead empowering and financing our enemies.
Two new allies appeared on the battlefield today.
At the Huffington Post, Bob Barr is promoting the aggressive debate of the Natural Gas Act, a true bipartisan economic engine that has long been overshadowed by the partisan debate over healthcare. In the House, over 130 supporters have signed up, representing all political persuasions in that body. In the Senate, the initial legislation was proposed by a Democrat, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and it now has more Republican co-sponsors than Democrat, though Harry Reid is among the Democrats who support the bill.
And though this legislation has been kept in the dark, it is beginning to gather its share of the spotlight as concerns over the economy begin to outweigh healthcare legislation.
Closer to home, US Rep John Fleming, R-Minden, is aggressively attacking Democrat efforts to stop the production of natural gas from shale by regulating hydraulic fracturing out of existence. Fleming is openly criticizing Rep Henry Waxman, of Cap & Trade fame, for questioning eight natural gas companies about the chemicals they utilize in the sand and water mixture used to fracture the shale in which the gas is trapped.
From the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association –
“The same team that brought America the job-killing, tax-hiking cap-and-trade legislation appear to be at it again,” Fleming, R-Minden, said in a speech last week on the House floor.
Hydraulic fracturing has been used to recover oil and natural gas from shale formations for decades, and has been safely and effectively regulated by the states’ environmental agencies. Now Waxman is attempting to bring the process under the jurisdiction of the EPA. Under the current administration, their involvement can only be a roadblock to progress; progress this country needs to put us on the road to economic recovery and energy independence. As Rep Fleming candidly and accurately says,
… production in the Haynesville Shale pumped $4.5 billion into Louisiana’s economy and created more than 32,000 jobs.
David Vitter is supporting this. Bill Cassidy is supporting it. John Fleming is supporting it. Natural gas production is good for Louisiana, and good for America. We need to support it, too.
As Bob Barr approaches the conclusion of his post, he echoes an argument that has been raised in this venue many times.
Members of Congress and Senators are motivated by heat. So we’ve got to turn up the heat. They have to start getting their mail rooms and inboxes flooded with positive messages, well-articulated messages, petitions, postcards, emails, whatever it takes. Why? Because the NAT GAS Act is a win-win. But we’ve got to start now. If we don’t, every day that goes by means it becomes harder and more expensive to mount that effort.
One of the more profound effects of the healthcare debate has been the awakening of “middle America,” the average “Joe” who had been dormant and ambivalent for years. The Natural Gas Act, the No Cost Stimulus, and similar legislation, are other topics that “Joe” needs to become familiar with, then involved with promoting.
Telephone numbers and email addresses for members of Congress are readily available and easily obtained. Use them to express your support for this sensible, much needed, bipartisan legislation.