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The  column below appeared in Hometown Oneonta today.  It follows up on former DEC Commissioner Mike Zagata's observations on continuing efforts by the antis to shut down the transport of gas from Pennsylvania.
 
Kudos to former DEC Commissioner Mike Zagata for noting that if pipelines had been built in Otsego County, there would be no need for CNG trucks. The trucks would have been priced out of the market. End of tip-over problem. Pipelines don't tip.
 
Here's reality: most economies seek the lowest priced energy possible. Abundant, versatile, scalable natural gas is cheap, therefore in demand. Without the government's thumb on the scales, current renewable technology can't compete.
 
The elites in the radical environmental movement realized this and took measures to reverse the laws of economics. They would impede gas development, and in so doing, promote renewables and . . . make money.
 
The anti-gas "environmentalists", funded and orchestrated by "beyond-rich" family foundations, stirred up fear of drilling. (THE WATER! THE WATER!). This morphed into, "We're-killing-the-planet. (THE AIR! THE CO2!) which, in turn, shifted into the "Keep-it-in-the-ground." movement. To do this they stopped the pipeline buildout from Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale, the biggest gas play this side of Dubai. That meant no pipelines in New York. No pipelines in New England. For this you can thank Andrew Cuomo and the New England Democrat governors who would rather have their citizens pay premium prices for LNG shipped from Siberia rather than buy cheap domestic gas from Pennsylvania.
 
As Mr. Zagata points out, this ten year campaign didn't run on bake sales and fifty/fifty raffles. It takes real money, hired hands, political clout (did I mention money?) and organization. The "beyond-rich" family foundations funded the lawyers, the lobbyists, the "research," the bloggers, the forums, the writers hidden behind shell organizations, the news outlets, the newspapers, the magazines, the movies (even a travelling theatre troupe), and a small army of street activists who self-referenced each other to create an "environmental" echo chamber. As Mr. Zagata points out, it's not cheap to rent the Foothill Theatre in Oneonta. However, forget about finding the real funder.
 
A few years ago the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) offered the citizens of Morris two Columbia Law School grads and a community organizer to implement a town drilling moratorium. Finding the source of the original dollars funding these "volunteers" would be like playing "Where's Waldo." Did the original dollars come from a the $17 billion Soros Foundation or the Rockefeller Brothers (more billions) or maybe the Heinz Foundation or from Tom Steyer? The original dollar is so washed in a laundromat of inter-foundational money transfers that is impossible to trace to its first source. And these foundations are tax-free "charities." The Big Boys play in the Big Swamp.
 
And how does this affect us in Otsego County? Well, the "keep-it-in-the-ground" crowd has succeeded in stopping pipeline construction in New York. Piped gas for heating and cooking in Montrose, PA sells at a 25% discount to propane. That means if your propane bill is $3,000 per year, you could be saving $750 annually if there was a Constitution transmission pipeline with a Leatherstocking distribution line in Otsego County.
 
In the context of jobs. a regional agra-business currently saves $10,000 per month buying CNG off the gas trucks. That entrepreneur isn't using the money to drink Mai Tais on the beach in Saint Lucia. He's creating two more positions to grow his business. That's two less families packing the You Haul to move to Tennessee. With piped gas he'd be hiring even more.
 
The irony is the Energy Information Agency (EIA) reports US CO2 emissions are down to 1992 levels in spite of a growing population and a growing economy. They attribute this mainly to low-cost natural gas replacing coal in electric generation. Talk about an inconvenient truth; you'll never find this in the climate change hoopla.
 
So there you have it. Low cost gas is road-blocked to pave the way for costly renewables. The same people who created the road block are complaining about the effects of the road block. But Andrew Cuomo and the elites have a plan for you. You WILL buy renewable energy! It's been ordained. New Yorkers will pay more. California prices sooner; German prices later.
 
Buy a You Haul franchise. People will be moving.
 
Keep the faith,
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