While too many of us are focused on the latest Trumpian tweets, there is at least one Election Day contest worthy of note right here at home. There are several of them, actually, but our gubernatorial contest is a good example of the choices we face as we move toward handing the Commonwealth to our grandkids.
As I sit watching the water flow downhill, the news is reporting Standing Rock Sioux Americans confronting police in an effort to block a 1,170-mile, $4 billion pipeline being built across land the tribes-people consider sacred, and across a river that is a water source for several million people.
President Obama said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – responsible for at least one of the pipeline’s required permits – is looking at a way to reroute the pipeline, but he has to know the company will fight that, citing the cost of the pipe it already has rushed to lay as it tries to outrun any potentially successful efforts to change the already expensive project..
The U.S. Senate this week decisively shot down a proposal to eliminate subsidies to Big Oil & Gas.
The tally was 51 senators, including two Republicans – from Maine – voting to end the subsidies, and 47, including four Democrats – from Alaska, Lousiana, Nebraska and Virginia – voting to keep them. The 100-seat senate has a nifty rule in place designed to increase the power of the minority party: 60 votes are required to pass a bill.
It’s probably coincidental that the four states whose Democrat senators opposed the repeal are heavily involved in oil production or transportation.
Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. Bob Casey voted to repeal the subsidies, and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey voted to keep them.
A report published last year said Pennsylvanians provide nearly $3 billion in subsidies to fossil fuel producers. It’s a subject that draws little media attention. … Continue reading …