Posted: November 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
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This will appear in the Farmerville Gazette, Farmerville Louisiana, USA Week of 11/10/2014

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. This has symbolized the opportunity for a new beginning; a possibility that we have some form of control of our futures and that beginning begins today. That new day will formally begin in January and informally it is taking place today.
On January 3rd, 2015 the newly elected members of congress will take office at the national capital in Washington, D.C. When the oath has been given the balance of power in Washington will change and there will be numerous new bills introduced that will reflect changes to the direction that the country will take. While many think that there will be a swift reversal of recently passed legislation, this will probably not happen in total. Instead there will more than likely be changes to existing laws and it is hoped that the changes will follow logical negotiations that look to the wellbeing of our great nation.
Many candidates ran on repealling the affordable care act, Obama Care. There will be bills introduced pertaining to this law but it will be impossible to repeal Obama Care in one fatal swoop. First the bill is massive and good or bad has become a part of our new culture. A total immediate repeal would be devastating to insurance companies that have tailored their programs based on statistics to support Obama Care. While the majority of the existing bill is considered bad there are parts of the bill that provide a benefit for many of our citizens. The good parts need to remain and the bad needs to go. This will require a dedicated set of patriots from both political parties to carve out what the future law will look like. If our country and not partisan politics is not put at the forefront of Washington politics then we will retain a business as usual approach at our national capital and the grid lock we are encountering today will remain. The worse thing that can happen to our country will take place if congress passes reform to the affordable care act and the president vetos the bill. Then it will take two-thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate to override the veto. If the president vetos changes to Obama Care and congress over rides the veto then we can relish in the fact that bi-partisan politics has taken a back door to the good of the country. If the presidential veto does not happen then we can languish in the fact that we will have two more years of Washington grid lock.
Another important but controversial debate has been centered around the Key Stone Pipeline. This pipeline will bring Canadian crude to Houston. For years this pipeline has been placed on hold for various reasons. It was first noted that there were environmental concerns. Updated designs and guarantees of safety have diminished these objections. The objections of the state department have been lifted. It was becoming clear that the real reason of the objections was to starve America of much needed oil and thus provide a false need for alternative energy. What wasn’t anticipated was the discovery of vast amounts of oil and gas in the oil shales around the country. Also, Canada is not going to sit around and wait for America to someday say we will use their crude products. Instead Canada is making plans to ship their oil to other countries and not send it to America. Another foreign policy opportunity squandered. What is also lost is over thirty-five thousand good paying jobs to construct the line and thousands of ongoing jobs to operate the line after it is complete.
Keystone will be brought to the new congress very quickly. It needs to pass and this is one piece of legislation that has the best chance for bi-partisan support. Even with the vast amounts of crude being produced in America today, the pipeline can provide even more opportunities to the commerce of our country. The pipeline was originally designed to bring crude oil from Canada to the deep south of America. Today the line can be resized and petroleum from the Dakotas can be transported to ports in Houston and Louisiana. The new supply of crude could lead to Refinery expansions in both Houston and New Orleans. Then instead of only transporting crude oil to terminals for shipping crude to other countries, lets refine the crude in America and sell and ship the refined products to other countries. It would be easier for another country to purchase gasoline from a supplier than to buy crude oil and have to refine the gasoline themselves. New markets will open for our refined products and this means more jobs at the refineries for Americans.
The bottom line is that we have a golden opportunity to pull our country together and once again become the beacon of success to be admired by the world.

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