Trust & Integrity

December, 2014

shamrock_santa_hatTwo words that are missing when it comes to our government…

Trust and Integrity!!!

The American people have been lied to—some call it “mis-spoke”. The end result is the same; a lack of trust in our so-called political leaders.

Obamacare

The bad news on Obamacare is arriving in people’s mailboxes. Dramatic cost increases with less coverage. Costs are soaring due to mandated coverage, plus deductibles have risen to further increase out-of-pocket expenses.

The whole program should be abolished and patient choice be returned. Let the consumer decide what coverage they want. This will reduce costs.

Immigration

Americans do not want a “comprehensive bill” on immigration. We have had enough of these bloated fiascos that no one understands.

The number one immigration issue is border security. Unless we do something about this first, we will only add to our current problems.

Thanks to the President’s new “Amnesty” Executive Order, the word is out…our border is open.

Congress should pass a tough border security bill and present it to the President.

Election

People are still analyzing the mid-term election. What was its meaning?

My answer is a simple one…people are fed up with the current leadership. It does not mean that the people have suddenly fallen in love with Republicans. However, they are willing to give them a chance.

Unless they lead and accomplish something they will be unelected in the future.

Leadership

America is suffering greatly from a lack of political leadership.

Great progress has been made on a state-by-state basis by many Republican governors and legislatures. Washington should take a page from these achievers. Their success was hard fought. They ran on strong platforms of policies that are good for the voter.

We need more voter-friendly leadership from Washington. Tell us what you are trying to accomplish and why it will be good for America.

EPA

The EPA has gone ballistic with their proposed regulations that carry high costs with marginal gains. They have consistently expanded their rules with little or no cost impact analysis. This must stop!

The House and Senate must pass legislation that clarifies and limits EPA’s mandate.

Summary

The voters have spoken. They want strong leaders that can get the right things done. The needs are many and well known. We are impatiently waiting for results.

This holiday season let’s ask for restored trust and integrity in our government.

Best wishes to you and yours.

America’s Enery Boom is Changing the World’s Energy Market

November, 2014

shamrock_voteThanks to fracking, America is experiencing a flood of energy supplies and changing the global energy market.

Oil and natural gas supplies are hitting new record highs, in spite of Washington, D.C.

The President and the Democrats are using every trick to shut down or curtail energy expansion in the USA. Between EPA and their never-ending restrictive regulations, and other government agencies trying to invoke the endangered species act to protect prairie chickens and restrict exploration, the President and his followers seem intent on turning off the energy spigot of opportunity for America. They do so under the guise of climate change which the President considers our nation’s number one priority. Most Americans do not agree.

Keystone Pipeline

The President refuses to approve the Keystone Pipeline in spite of study after study showing limited to no impact on the environment. Unfortunately, Canada is tired of waiting. They have decided to build a pipeline to the East Coast of Canada, and then ship the oil to the refiners.

Rail Cars

With the Keystone Pipeline in limbo, we are shipping oil via rail car. In response, the government has decreed we must “harden” 335,000 rail cars. Specifications are still under development to insure added safety. However, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, 99.997% of potentially dangerous cargo arrives at its destination without incident!

Oil Supplies and the Price of Gas

Not too long ago the anti-energy crowd was stating that the increased supply of oil would not have a favorable impact on retail gasoline prices. Wrong!!!

Here are the facts:

  • Gasoline prices have dropped from $4.00+ per gallon to less than $3.00.
  • This saves the average U.S. family $1,200 per year!!!

Energy Independence and Politics

Energy independence makes us less vulnerable to worldwide political events. Lower oil prices means less money to support radical groups in the Middle East or to finance Russia’s ruthless expansion into Ukraine and elsewhere.

Natural Gas

More people are switching to natural gas to power their cars and trucks. Why? It’s cleaner and less expensive…the equivalent of $1.70 per gallon of gasoline. Commercial truck fleets are among the first to convert. They are running cleaner and saving money by retrofitting their vehicles to burn 60/40 blends of natural gas and diesel.

Summary

America’s growing energy supplies plus more efficient vehicles provide the opportunity for energy independence that we have sought since the embargoes of the 1970s.
Lower energy costs mean more jobs and lower prices for American consumers. Plus people are switching to more fuel efficient cars and trucks which further lowers consumption, carbon emissions and costs. That’s a Win-Win-Win!

Vote!

When you go to the polls November 4th, make your vote count! Support candidates that support U.S. energy opportunities and independence. Doing so will Keep America Great!!!

Happy 100th Birthday to the Panama Canal

October, 2014

shipOn August 15, 1914, Captain John A. Constantine made the first official transit of the Panama Canal. This 48-mile water route across the Continental Divide was finished on time and within budget.

Without United States ingenuity and funding, however, this project might never have seen completion. The French had tried; they lost 22,000 lives to disease and accidents, spent $287 million, and gave up after nine years.

Previously considering a passage through Nicaragua, the United States Congress authorized purchase of the assets of the failed French project in 1902. Under President Theodore Roosevelt, a U.S. engineering panel was formed. Their plan was to create a lock system that could raise and lower ships 85 feet using water from the Chagres River.

The country of Colombia had different ideas. With the Panama region still part of Colombia, they refused to ratify the agreement which would allow the United States to proceed with its plan. The Panamanians revolted, declared their independence, and negotiated a treaty giving America the rights to over 500 square miles to build the canal and control the zone in perpetuity.

Forty-two thousand workers built, dredged and excavated the route from Colon to Balboa.

The dam they built on the Chagres River created Gatun Lake. This allowed navigation through the mountains on the Pacific side and reduced by about half the distance requiring excavation.

They built a new, heavy-duty Panama Railway to carry workers, supplies, equipment, and debris into and out of the area. It also handled the commercial freight crossing the isthmus.

To combat disease, a rigorous approach to sanitation and mosquito abatement was implemented. This systematic, organized approach was a medical breakthrough. It essentially eliminated yellow fever in Panama and removed a significant barrier to worker recruitment.

Construction of the Panama Canal also pushed the window on technology. American companies improved their rock crushers, dredgers, even refrigeration systems to speed the project along. And new electric-powered “mule engines” were designed to help stabilize and guide ships through the locks.

By the time of its completion, the building of the Panama Canal moved enough earth and rubble to cover Manhattan Island 12-feet high.

Today, it takes eight-to-10 hours to go through the locks, lake and passageways of the canal, and 13,000-14,000 vessels use the waterway each year. Specially-trained canal pilots assume navigational control of the ship while in the canal. Tolls for a ship’s transit can be as high as $450,000.

The Panama Canal is no longer under U.S. authority, with control transferred to Panama in 1999. It currently is undergoing a $5.25 billion expansion project to allow passage of vessels carrying nearly three times their current loads. The new locks and deeper navigational channels are scheduled to open in 2015.

In last month’s Reflections, I lamented that not enough “Can Do” and too much “Can’t Do” are restricting America’s success. America was built on a “Can Do” attitude and the Panama Canal is a shining example.

Something to reflect upon.