The Fracking Boom is a Fracking Bubble

  by Walter Brasch   Gas prices have plunged to the low $2 range—except in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the prices at the pump are in the mid-$2 range. That’s because Gov. Tom Corbett and the legislature imposed a 28-cent per gallon surcharge tax. Until 2019, Pennsylvanians will be paying an additional $2.3 billion a year in taxes and fees—$11.5 billion total—to improve the state’s infrastructure. In addition to the increased tax on gas at the pumps, Pennsylvania motorists will also be spending more for license registrations, renewals, and title certificates. For far too many years, the state’s politicians of both major parties, preaching fiscal austerity—and hoping to be re-elected by taxpayers upset with government spending—neglected the roads, bridges, and other … Continue reading

Climate Change Won’t Wait – by Bill McKibben

An Op-Ed by Bill McKibben in the Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2013 Societal change usually happens slowly, even once it’s clear there’s a problem. That’s because, in a country as big as the United States, public opinion moves in leisurely currents. Change often requires going up against powerful, established interests, and it can take decades for those currents to erode the foundations of our special-interest fortresses. Think civil rights, gay marriage, equal rights for women. Even facing undeniably real problems — say, discrimination against gay people — one can make the case that gradual change is the best option. Had some mythical liberal Supreme Court declared, in 1990, that gay marriage was now the law of the land, the … Continue reading

RNC Turns Blues Riff Into Attack Ad

President Obama thrilled audiences this week when he joined in to sing a few lines of the classic, “Sweet Home Chicago,” during a blues concert at the White House. Among those watching, but decidedly less thrilled, were national Republicans, who quickly transformed Obama’s turn with the mic into an online attack ad blaming Obama for the steep rise in gas prices nationally. The Republican National Committee (RNC) released the spot to coincide with Obama’s Thursday speech in Miami to discuss his energy policy, in which he repeated his call for an “all-of-the-above strategy for energy,” in which the United States develops both more clean, renewable energy as well as increased domestic production of petroleum. “You know there are no quick … Continue reading