Rep. John Delaney's commentary ("Natural gas is the right choice for the U.S.," April 2) speaks for the energy and job needs of Canada, Crimea, Europe, Russia, Ukraine the Midwestern United States and southern Maryland. Unmentioned in this geopolitical academic exercise are the energy and job needs of the very Congressional district he represents.
I will help the congressman fill in the blanks by citing his distortions and omissions that may help him with his political base but harm everyone else in the district and create a strange sense of emptiness to people interested in growing jobs and the nation's energy needs.
Conveniently left out of the congressman's article is any mention of his support of a carbon tax. Mr. Delaney says, "Instituting a national carbon tax is one way to create certainty for the markets."
According to the Carbon Tax Center, the purpose of this tax is to create chaos in the markets by making fossil fuels more expensive for everyone who drives a car, turns on lights and heats their house. By making people pay more, extreme political groups force people to use energy sources they prefer. The only certainty a carbon tax creates is to help politicians like Mr. Delaney appease special interest groups and their political party.
Hydraulic fracturing is also omitted from his commentary, which is dishonest because he is writing about natural gas. He would lead people to believe that natural gas magically appears in world hot spots and export facilities outside of his district. Where it comes from is certain regions in the U.S., potentially including the western Maryland congressional district he purports to represent. However, there will not be any natural gas coming from Maryland unless it is drilled sideways from a neighboring state because the monopoly power structure that Mr. Delaney is beholden to refuses to allow it.
The website "frackingjobs.co" lists positions in Pennsylvania ranging from drilling engineer and rig manager to valve technician. These jobs typically pay at least five times the minimum wage, yet Maryland is not listed among the states job seekers can choose from. We know that Mr. Delaney would prefer to pay people $10 an hour as he raises fuel costs on the working poor, but nobody knows if he backs safely getting natural gas out of the ground in Maryland where the state, not local communities as he suggests, bans the practice.
The commentary's main premise is that the U.S. should export natural gas from facilities like Cove Point in Southern Maryland. As the congressman finally stumbles onto something that resembles a coherent position, he again goes on to say that local approvals are needed. If President Barack Obama, Gov. Martin O'Malley and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, whose district encompasses Cove Point, want this facility to export natural gas, it will export natural gas.
Finally, as he's done to constituents in the district, the congressman refuses to offer an energy solution that enables people to find good-paying jobs elsewhere in the country. Identical to his support of the carbon tax, he must also make another politically-correct argument. Therefore, he opposes the Keystone XL pipeline project in the Midwest that would transport fuel from Canada.
Most reasonable people agree that the U.S. can restore its prominence on the global stage by helping Ukraine and Western Europe obtain energy from countries other than Russia. Unfortunately, our country will not be able to fulfill that role, nor will Maryland play any part in it, with politicians like John Delaney who make so many political calculations that the resulting energy "policy" is watered-down nonsense.
An energy policy that helps our country and the congressional district is one that connects the dots — ranging from hydraulic fracturing in Western Maryland to exporting the fuel in Southern Maryland. Supporting the carbon tax and opposing the Keystone pipeline undermine an "all of the above" energy solution this district and our country need.
The congressman offers us nothing more than a political calculation disguised as a lecture on energy and jobs. Voters in this district see that there is no energy policy from their congressman. And they also see that John Delaney underestimates them.
The writer is a Republican candidate in Maryland's 6th Congressional District.
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