Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For

I just heard Ohio governor John Kasich at the Republican National Convention boasting about how his state was first in the Midwest and fourth in the nation in jobs creation. He railed against regulations that stymied new business. Hmm. Didn't I hear that in Ohio they are injecting waste water from hydrofracking into dry wells?


  1. Did anyone read Sean Lennon's piece on fracking in the NY Times Op Ed. Well said, I think.

  2. Yes. Just about oil and gas wells have "saline brine" as a byproduct of drilling, according to a Yale engineer who's developing a new process for dealing with the nasty saline brine. Saline brine is being disposed of in Ohio in the ground. Pennsylvania ships brine to Ohio because they have no place to put it in PA, at least not at a competitive cost.

    Saline brine is ultra-salty, much saltier than the ocean and disposing of it is a real challenge. Ohio is about to tell PA they have no more room for out-of-state brine which could be hard for PA energy producers.

    -- Jock Spivy

  3. As if Hudsonians don't have their bipartisan hands full of confronting local mischief, now Gossips readers must prepare to divide themselves for the national benefit (thus exemplifying my eternal complaint against the old New Left).

    Well then, here goes.

    There's no question that Ohio's made deregulation the hallmark of its jobs agenda, mostly by pinning the slow pace of job growth on the crazy regulatory uncertainty perpetuated by the Obama administration. (In retrospect Nixon was like Gibraltar in comparison!)

    As a result, Ohio's public-sector growth is falling. If only New York state could manage that!, though I'd probably agree with Gossips' fears about which state jobs would be cut first.

    However, Ohio's employment projections forecast the bulk of the next five years' of job growth in health care and general business activities before advances in the "construction and transportation" sector (the nearest category to hydrofracking on the list).

    "Ohio Labor Market Information": http://ohiolmi.com/proj/projections/ohio/Buckeye50.pdf

    And while it's true that Governor Kasich stated that Ohio has "restored common sense" to environmental regulations and that he complains of the "smothering effect" of regulations on businesses, his admission that "the actions that we took were not always easy [and] not always popular," acknowledges that they weren't always pleasant for legislators either. The message I got was: unpleasant but necessary.

    But I appreciate that it's the season for vilifying those whose opinions might be a little different than one's own, even if we're all allies the rest of the year at the local level.

    As a card-carrying centrist, I'll take this opportunity to ask my ecologically-minded Hudsonians for one example OTHER THAN THE 2004-05 ST. LAWRENCE FIGHT when an uncompromising stance advanced the ecological cause one jot.

    There isn't a victory to point to, which is why I'm prepared to echo Governor Kasich (even if I don't agree with him on fracking) that the hard work now consists in the art compromise.

    In that regard, Left-leaning ecologically-minded Hudsonians haven't a clue how to update their narrative. And as long as that embarrassing state of affairs continues, we're fated to continue losing battles on behalf of the local ecology.

    Oops, I'm off topic again, wandering away from our anxieties about Ohio.

  4. Small correction, unheimlich. The St Lawrence Cement fight went on for about 6 years, not 2 years. My memory is that the cement company put its proposal forward in 1999.

    -- Jock Spivy

  5. Two years - six years ...

    Am I really the only one who sees it as a disadvantage that everyone around here continues to live that dream?

    Meanwhile the world's machinations have mutated and moved on. Some developments should be opposed outright, others rejected only in part.

    But another possibility is ending up in a position where you have no power at all. It's wise to always factor in that potentiality. I suppose that 6 years rather than 2 makes that harder to accomplish.

  6. Unheimlich, you are not alone. As Carole knows, I am pro-fracking, pro-nuclear power, anti-job killing regulations (of all sorts, not just environmental). New York State has the second-highest cost of power to end users in the Lower 48 states; this is a serious obstacle to job creation and wealth creation.

    I fought St. Lawrence Cement about as hard as anyone except for Sam Pratt. I don't see what St. Lawrence Cement has to do with anything else. I also don't understand why you seem to be belittling a victory in a very large fight.

    With kind regards,

    Jock Spivy

  7. Seriously Tim? Linking deregulation to job growth, self-describing as a centrist, and finally asserting that uncompromising positions have never moved an environmental issue forward? Here I thought the Blue Moon was on Friday.

    David Marston.

  8. I agree Jock, the St. Lawrence victory is nothing to belittle. I'm very grateful for everyone's hard work defeating that proposal.

    But that was then and this is now.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people's efforts since that time seem to me to deserve belittling. The local ecology is adding up some pointless losses in recent years, and not related to job growth or anything useful but having more to do with favors between cronies.

    A lot that needs attention takes place in the field, hands-on stuff like removing invasives and the like. Do people around here ever apply themselves, or do they just talk?

    But as if to symbolize the full stop of the public's interest during last year's dishonest environmental impact statement (not just a City of Hudson issue), and the public's general lack of attentiveness ever since, only a few people turned out the night the Common Council ratified its anti-ecological LWRP zoning. It follows that nobody is now interested in the consequences of their own inattention.

    That's why it's easy to get the impression that some people - not all - return to the memory of the St. Lawrence victory to be relieved of any further involvement with the present. If true, I don't respect that. It does feel like it's true though.

    Now Mr. Dave, as a self-described centrist I'm merely reminding people that things are always more complicated than they're made out to be around election time.

    The question I'd hoped to provoke concerns the moment an uncompromising stance begins to yield diminishing returns. That's not the same as saying an uncompromising approach is never appropriate.

    It's just that I feel we're about to enter an era of massive deregulation. Like anything else, this will have good results and bad. If opposition to the trend is only rejectionist and puritanical, the ecosystem may suffer all the more for our self-indulgent superiority. Of course some people go in for that sort of thing.

    Aw, I think you might just be teasing me!

    Thanks for the alert about the blue moon.