Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Alice-in-Wonderland of local politicians

In the world of athletics, coming in third place is getting bronze instead of gold. In the world of love and business, third place means loss and despair. But not so with the politicos that visited The Andersons at their home in Maumee, Ohio. To them, coming in third, after investors and employees, means The Andersons are fine people – even though they only spoke to a “counterpart”. Their visit served to support their contention that their constituents are hysterical troublemakers that carry a disease that is causing the city to fester and if not cured, perhaps die. Whoever paid for their trip wasted their money. In the 21st century a simple email asking the Anderson’s, “If you are fine religious people, do you conduct your business by the “Golden Rule” or the “rule of gold” where Greenville comes in third?” would have been more productive. Other politicos are suggesting that Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) is a partisan issue between Democrats and Republicans. According to the Darke County poll, conducted by the, over 97% of the respondents were against CCS while less than 3% supported it. If this is a partisan issue, which of the two parties is claiming the 97% victory? Of course this is nonsense, but here in the Alice-in-Wonderland world of Greenville/Darke County such pronouncements are perfectly rationale and can spark a big rally of two or three people. The CCS supporting politicians believe that shaving off mountain tops in West Virginia to produce coal for smog belching electric plants that generate the power necessary for the 1500 psi sequestration, all at tax payers expense, is a good thing. Then if you oppose the scam (or as Greenpeace has labeled it, “ a boondoggle), they try to convince you that you are opposing the American way. Even more upside down is their belief that supercritical carbon dioxide (SCCO2) will sit in a glob three thousand feet down under our aquifer without ever emerging into the atmosphere where it supports plant life and crop growth. This is their conviction although scientists working on CCS recognize there is “back leakage” and serious attending risks. They are totally unaware of the work coming from the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory that calculates over time the latent energy at a sequestration site can exceed approximate 20 kilotons of TNT contained in the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Although we live in one of two earthquake epicenters in Ohio further complicated by hundreds of abandoned oil and gas wells through which the CO2 can erupt with massively fatal consequences they regard such an event as the luck of the draw. They revel in being risk takers and regard the recent seismic tremor in April 2008 in Greenville as nothing more than a caution light that can be ran. Others, not given to scientific thought after over a year are still “studying the matter”.

Also in this Wonderland we must include the Darke County Chamber of Commerce that apparently has bolted from the National Chamber of Commerce whose position is against “Cap and Trade” under which CCS is the darling centerpiece. Ironically the local Chamber considers themselves Midwest conservatives and perhaps are unaware that CCS is straight out of the West coast California Pelosi-Waxman-Boxer-Feinstein playbook. Perhaps the Darke County Chamber would suggest, “Isn’t it nice to have a bit of California with a little Beach Boy music in the background here in Darke County?” Do they not realize that California has replaced the US dollar with IOUs?

To those politicians and public servants that have chosen to leave this Alice-in-Wonderland world, we offer our thanks, appreciation and support. Adding to this group are the Darke County Commissioners who in Resolution 200-09 politely asked the Anderson Marathon Ethanol plant to honor their request to halt the project (CCS).

[submitted by Rebecca Reier]


  1. "We're all mad here." -Cheshire Cat

  2. Rush to Judgement.
    Lots of citizens are reluctant to go against the very vocal opposition.

  3. Why any person in this town would support sequestration as it is currently presented to us is beyond me.

    All technologies bring along attendant risks. This is an undeniable fact, as thousands of years of experience show us. This does not mean that all technologies should be shunned because of the risks -- as the Luddites would have claimed -- but that a cost/benefit analysis should be executed, and then a decision reached from there.

    In the project as it is currently proposed, citizens assume all the risks, and the Andersons will reap all the benefits. I'm not sure whether or not I would agree to accept the sorts of risks we might be assuming in exchange for the municipality sharing in the profits that are sure to come to the Andersons selling carbon credits on the open market (as is almost sure to happen if all goes well with the experiment).

    But in the absence of an offer to the municipality to share in those potential profits, the willingness of some of the "reluctant" conservative capitalists around these parts to welcome this project with open arms looks a lot like bending over a barrel.

    And by the way, to these reluctant citizens who support the sequestration project who are afraid of the vocal opposition, might I recommend growing a pair?

    In short, after a thorough examination of all the potential threats and their probabilities, if the dangers are not likely, show us the money and we will gladly let you stuff all of your CO2 under our feet. It's the American Way!


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