GUEST OP-ED: Domestic Sources of Energy to Create Jobs and Improve the Economy
Granite Staters have not suffered the pain of unemployment as severely as citizens of other states, so far. That’s a blessing we should do everything in our power to perpetuate. But, we are still hurting and veterans, in particular returning veterans, are among those affected by the stagnant economy.
We currently have 4,000 veterans out of work in New Hampshire and while they aren’t more important than others out of work, in many ways, it is more difficult to place them in jobs after they serve our country because they haven’t necessarily learned a specific skill as others who have been employed and recently lost jobs.
In addition, restrictive energy policies are hitting our military families with $4 per gallon heating oil, and over $3 per gallon for gasoline as they wait for their husband or wife to complete their tour of combat duty in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Even though we rely on a variety of energy sources – nuclear, natural gas, coal, water, wood, etc. – we are obliged to import fossil fuels from other states and our electricity prices are among the highest in the country.
Fluctuations in energy prices can take a real toll on our state’s economy, so it’s important for us to maintain steady and secure access to as many sources as possible.
Our ability to do that, however, is hampered by federal policies that seem designed to impede, rather than encourage, the development of energy resources – or to favor some forms of energy over others. While it might make sense for us as citizens and business owners to favor the use of the most convenient or economical or environmentally-friendly resources we can find, or to encourage the development of indigenous resources such as hydroelectric, it’s hard to fathom the logic of allowing the federal government to dictate our choices from a distance.
Whether by over regulation by the EPA or taxation, the federal government does just that – lending a helping hand to politically-correct energy development projects of dubious merit and throwing obstacles in the way of more reliable, but less fashionable options. When the feds play favorites, however, we suffer the consequences. The diversity of energy options decreases, our choices are restricted, and the prices we have to pay go up.
There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of energy generation. Under any given conditions, some are cheaper some are safer, some are better for a particular use. Under different conditions, the rankings of cheapest, safest, and best are likely to change. Wind and sun are not necessarily better than coal, oil, and nuclear; in fact, under certain circumstances, they’re quite inferior.
With a new Congress recently installed, now may be the time to let them know that we want our energy choices to be unbounded, not delimited – that we want to encourage energy development of all kinds, not just those that are currently fashionable or politically connected.
Our country has sufficient resources, of various kinds, to ensure energy independence for generations to come. We must stop listening to the siren song of decline and steer a steady course toward prosperity.
Let your representatives know that you will not settle for a future of diminished opportunity for you and your children. Let them know that you believe that jobs can be created by utilizing domestic aspects for energy creation and generation in New Hampshire.
Paul Chevalier served in the United States Marine Corps, was the New Hampshire State Commander of the VFW and was appointed Inspector General of the National VFW for 2008-09. Paul resides in Hudson with his wife, Cathie.