U.S. needs to take back country from activists

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I always enjoy reading Ed Shannon’s articles. Sunday’s article got me thinking about how much our country has changed since Lt. Albert Lea viewed in 1835 “a large stream fed by several lakes, and large tracts of lowland, north and west of the present lake.” How different things were back then without a Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, EPA, DNR, Endangered Species Acts, environmental impact statements, and the myriad other assorted bureaucracies and interest groups. Mr. Ruble could never have built his dam! The pioneers saw opportunity to build wealth out of swampland.

Our nation’s prosperity has been built by free people harnessing abundant natural resources. We will not continue to prosper in the USA unless we remove excessive regulation and develop new domestic energy sources from coal and known but untapped oil reserves off shore and in the Arctic. While China builds 50 new coal-fired power plants a year, drills for oil off of Key West, and works on the world’s largest hydroelectric project, we sit here and complain about energy prices. Congress debates “cap and trade,” which will do nothing to increase energy supply, but only increase costs and insert yet another layer of bureaucracy. We debate for years whether to “allow” the DM&E railroad to upgrade their tracks to provide competition and lower the cost of shipping coal. Russia lowers taxes on oil companies to encourage development, yet our politicians propose excess profits tax. Europe, Iran, and Saudi Arabia build new refineries while our last new refinery was built 30 years ago.

In this global economy we must grow or be left behind. Let’s get back to basics. We can continue to prosper, but we must take back the country from the environmentalists and their allies the regulators. The only way to do this is at the ballot box this fall by voting for people willing to stand up to the interest groups.

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Larry Forster

Riceland Township