The Pipeline and America’s Future

Nelson County Times – Letter to the Editor – March 11, 2015

Please do not confuse my personal opinions with those of county groups to which I belong. Now that I have property in the path of one of the pipeline alternative routes, I feel I can speak out with more credibility.

We owe the highest standard of living the world has ever known to abundant resources and the infrastructure to efficiently bring those resources to market. Because the price of energy is reflected in the cost of everything we do, use or buy, energy infrastructure is perhaps the most important component in maintaining our standard of living. Anything we do to increase the supply or the efficiency of delivery will lower the cost of life’s necessities, giving us all more disposable income. Even if we discount the value to ourselves personally, we owe it to our regional and national neighbors not to stand in the way of their access to a higher standard of living.

Much has been made of the eminent domain aspect of pipeline construction. While I am a rabid supporter of individual property rights, I am also cognizant of the fact that without eminent domain, we’d have no infrastructure. There would be no roads, bridges, dams, airports, municipal water or sewer and so forth. We’d be beneath Third-World status. That is why eminent domain has been with us for as long as individual property rights. Like government itself, it is a necessary evil.

The national security implications of achieving energy independence are enormous and have been eloquently expressed by folks like Dave Hight in his recent letter to the editor.