Weigh all options in bid for energy independence

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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Weigh all options in bid for energy independence

One of my many favorite writers on Sunday’s opinion pages is Karen Cookson. Her last two [May 12 and March 24] articles were about the dangers of fracking for natural gas in Sharon Springs, as well as other locations in New York.

I have driven through Sharon Springs, her hometown, and would feel the same way about possibly having the land disrupted by natural gas pipelines, coupled with the possibility of contaminated water wells.

She points out that the carbon output of fossil fuels destroys the ecosystem, which, in turn, adds to global warming. She further states that all of these problems can be eliminated by simply using the tested technologies of green energy (wind, solar and battery). The benefits of green energy would result in more jobs, a healthier planet and, of course, healthier people.

I have no argument with any of her fears and aspirations, however, to be fair, I would like to add some arguments by the pro-fracking crowd.

We have in this country enough natural gas to become the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. We could create enough jobs in the areas where fracking is allowed to reduce unemployment back to normal levels (below 5 percent).

The increased production of natural gas would have auto manufacturers converting gasoline engines to run on natural gas, which has less carbon output than gasoline, in time making us more energy-independent. By switching to natural gas, we could save billions of dollars, by keeping the money in the United States rather than the Middle East.

Since both arguments seem valid, they have their limitations. I suggest a serious discussion that puts all options on the table: the nuclear power option, the oil option, the green energy option and the natural gas option, so we can become less dependent on other countries for our energy needs.

Vince Alescio

Clifton Park

Where is outrage over Bangladeshi capitalists?

I read in the May 14 Gazette that the death toll in the Bangladesh garment factory collapse has reached 1,137 — nearly half the total who died on 9/11.

Those who committed the 9/11 attacks were called terrorists, and those responsible for the deaths in Bangladesh to enhance their bottom lines are labeled capitalists.

Enraged, our government took swift action and initiated pre-emptive wars against the terrorists. Disappointingly, our elected government officials, at nearly every level, greedily choose to get into bed with the capitalists.

Dave Capone


GOP continues making much ado about little

The so-called Obama administration scandals being frantically pursued by Republicans in Congress are a sham.

In the first scandal, the IRS scrutinized groups with the words tea party and patriot in their names before clearing them for special tax-exempt status. I think it is appropriate that those words were red flags to IRS employees charged with ensuring that tax-exempt groups are not political action committees (PACs) in disguise. Just a guess on my part, but perhaps these tea party-affiliated groups were flooding the system and attempting to subvert the intent of the law. I applaud the IRS for working on behalf of the taxpayers to limit abuse of the tax code.

The so-called Benghazi scandal has been fully understood and explored since before the election. The State Department made mistakes and Hillary Clinton has taken responsibility for those mistakes — even though the fateful decisions were made far below her level. She and [Secretary of State] John Kerry have promised to investigate and take corrective action. That isn’t a scandal, no matter how frantically Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) would have us believe that it is.

Finally, the matter of the subpoenas of Associated Press emails is a battle to control leaks of classified information that has been fought between the press and every administration, Republican and Democrat, going back to the time of Eisenhower and beyond.

Republicans in Congress bend their every effort to obstruct anything that President Obama proposes. These Republicans are just falling back on their tired old playbook and hoping the American people don’t remember what happened when Republicans had control of the White House. These so-called scandals are a sham and expose the GOP as a party that has lost its way.

Richard Alvarez


Food drive was most successful yet

Schenectady County Food Providers would like to thank the post office, the citizens of Schenectady County and Price Chopper for a wonderfully successful (and largest-ever) food drive.

Thanks to Price Chopper’s generous donation of bags to fill with food donations, the citizens who filled the bags, and the post office collecting all the bags, the Schenectady County Food Providers received over 80,000 pounds of food for Schenectady County’s hungry. That was almost a 50 percent increase in previous years’ food drives.

Thanks again to you all!

Gail Van Valkenburgh


The writer is the SICM Food Pantry director.

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May 22, 2013
1:20 a.m.
Fritzdawg says...

Vince Alescio:
There are a few things you might want to consider.
The United States could be energy independent simply by ceasing the export of our gas, and oil resources.
Namely, processed gasoline.
Currently, we are one of the largest EXPORTERS in the world.

Supporters of the Keystone pipeline for example, conveniently forget that every last drop that flows through it, is going to be exported, and the tragedies of the Oklahoma tornados, would have been greatly exacerbated had there been an oil pipeline running through there.
There is no upside for the American people when it comes to Keystone.

An increase in natural gas production would not have auto makers scurrying to convert.
You do know how long it takes to fill a vehicle with natural gas, right?
Not that it would matter, because all the gas created from fracking, was going to be exported anyway.

Energy companies have already stated that harvesting gas within our shores, will not lower your energy bills by a single penny.

May 22, 2013
7:45 a.m.
BROBERTS1 says...

Richard Alvarez,

So it is OK that the IRS can ask anyone with the tea party what church they go to?

May 22, 2013
1:18 p.m.
buzzy says...

Mr. Alvarez you are making some erroneous assumptions here. You assume these groups were chosen to prevent some backdoor effort to subvert the campaign law. If thats the case why was that not stated by the administration. Secondly the findings of abuse came from the Inspector Generals office an independent body within the framework of the checks and balances of government. Thirdly lets shift the numbers of the groups called for "special" attention versus those streamlined to approval and replace the Tea Party,Patriots with Green Energy,Free Palestine and I believe your opinion would be drastically different. The justice Dept. targeting journalists doesnt bother you? Now as for Benghazi lets make the ambassador or one of the dead former SEALS a loved one,and you know what Mr. Alvarez? That WOULD make a difference contrary to Hilary and this administration. Put down the Kool Aid and utilize some objective thinking.

May 22, 2013
2:29 p.m.
gina99 says...

Richard Alvarez,

Another low information City voter. An enemies list, misuse of domestic wiretaps, abuse of the first amendment, IRS corruption and lying about the Benghazi massacre that killed 4 Americans is okay? Shame on you. Stop being such a partisan fool. In Watergate no one died. No wonder Schenectady has the worst all Democratic elected officials in the State.

May 22, 2013
7:45 p.m.
ronzo says...

Re: The Energy Independence Letter - So you might be suggesting that drilling for more natural gas, that has become so plentiful because of that drilling – and the market cost decreases steadily, is a way to create wealth for people who “happen” to have that resource around them?

To be fair, as you suggest, why is it that the largest exported product by the USA is fuel? Do you think that is because the fuel producers in the USA want to sell their product at some cheap rate to Americans? Or do they want to sell it for maximum value to places that are willing to pay their asking price?

Regardless of the fuel product – natural gas, oil, gasoline - we need to divorce ourselves from those who’s only agenda is to take advantage of those of us who do not care about where we get our energy and don’t care what it costs.

May 23, 2013
5:32 a.m.
Phils2008 says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
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