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Natural Gas 4 Us: Some After Thanksgiving Musings

May this Thanksgiving have been a pause to boisterous emotions and opinions. It is hoped that Thanksgiving across the region was a day of family gatherings, good sharing, and gratitude for the blessing we have as Americans. That America at its core with all of its diversity and divisions is a tapestry of fundamentally good people.

Perhaps we can be thankful that in the recent elections more moderate candidates have been heard and the voters responded in key governor and US senatorial races seeking calmer voices. Perhaps some are thankful to give John Fetterman a chance to demonstrate he has the interests of Western Pennsylvania at heart. This could be a time to be thankful that democracy in America can and continues to be viable and workable. Perhaps we share the expectation US Congress will seek a level of compromise and cooperation to do their job and enact laws of the land. We have been living in a prolonged time of congressional malaise. Thus allowing presidential Executive orders to be the law of the land, or abdicating to the Supreme Court with a ruling that allows congress to shirk its responsibility. Immigration has been a good example. It is an absolutely contentious issue. However what has congress done regarding enacting a workable law? No major immigration bill has been passed in over 30 years. The last major laws were passed in 1986 and 1990. Rather let the president no matter whether republican or democrat declare something by executive order, causing congress depending on their opinion of the issue to harangue, and criticize, and as the saying goes “kick the can down the road”. Just try building a wall, or the gates, it is congress’s constitutional responsibility to pass the law. Talk about erosion of freedoms.

The Executive branch usurps the power by presidential order to circumvent the due process established by the founders of the republic, so as to command us rather than lead us. Perhaps we can be Thankful for still some of the lowest gasoline prices as compared to Western Europe. Perhaps some would be thankful for the US EPA's efforts over the last 40 years to raise fuel economy standards, pushing back against the automobile manufacturers and some administrations, so one goes further on less gas. Perhaps depending on one’s view of the development of Marcellus Gas to be Thankful for Toby Rice CEO of EQT persistently calling for expanded use of natural gas to supplant coal and be the reliable, secure, and cost-efficient transition energy for the foreseeable future. His only major request is a permit for pipelines. Going further afield perhaps fellow Americans in the Northeast are Thankful for the LNG tanker soon to dock in Boston Harbor delivering gas from Louisiana. For the last 15 years, they have opposed a 200-mile pipeline from Northeast Pennsylvania, to bring a reliable supply of gas at a quarter of the cost. Imagine the carbon and energy footprint of loading natural gas on an LNG tanker on the gulf coast and traveling some 2,000 miles at sea, delivering to Massachusetts. Likely some of the gas in the tanker could have been delivered by pipeline from Appalachia to the gulf port. Perhaps regardless of what the current president says we can be thankful for pipelines that carry natural gas, oil, gasoline, and soon the salvation fuel of the Green regime hydrogen. Ironically the shipping of LNG from a US port to another port in the US is complicated by a law called the Jones Act passed in 1920. Hopefully, we can be Thankful that the new congress will revisit and possibly amend or repeal. Perhaps some of us will be Thankful that the Defense budget is only 778 billion dollars for the coming year or that President Biden only has over 5,000,000 executive branch employees under his command.

We all can be Thankful for occasional sunshine and warm winds in the coming winter months, and Thankful they are renewable resources that we hope are developed prudently in our state. On a more whimsical note: would we be different people if Ben Franklin got his way for the national bird, the turkey instead of the eagle? May our gratitude carry us into 2023.

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