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Jake Towne was an expatriate engineer working in the semiconductor industry from 2002-2009 and based in Shanghai China from 2005-2009. Finding the economic prosperity and civil liberties here in the United States to be under attack, he left China and ran for US Congress from 2009-2010 in eastern... More
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  • Jake Towne - "Jobs, Debt, Veterans, and War" Speech
    "Know ye not, Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow?" - Lord Byron

    Last night at a local candidates' night I gave the below speech, though the bracketed paragraphs were cut out due to time limitations.  The event was co-sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Tea Party and Lehighton Tea Party.  My Republocrat competition - for the second event in a row - failed to show up.
    A video of the speech can be viewed here.

     

    During the past 6 years, the official national debt has nearly doubled from $7.6 to $13.5 trillion. Per the US Treasury, the unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare is $107 trillion dollars, which is nearly $400,000 for every man, woman, and child. What has the taxpayer gotten in return?

    During the past 6 years, the number of service members killed in Afghanistan has risen from 160 to 1,311.

    During the past 6 years, unemployment locally has doubled from 5 to 10%. The number of people living on food stamps has increased from 25 to 41 million which is nearly 1 in 8 Americans.

    Now over 3 in 4 Americans live paycheck to paycheck, a figure which has about doubled since 2006. What has the taxpayer gotten in return?

    We must stop the endless debt. I have pledged to balance the budget each year, and I have called upon my competitors to join me, and they have chosen to not do so.

    I am against taxpayer bailouts of corporations like the TARP Banker Bailout. Mr. Dent voted to bailout the bankers, and Mr. Callahan has stated he would've voted FOR the bill as well. (source)  (Photo courtesy Roger Smith)

    The banker bailouts served to benefit the government’s favorite corporations at the expense of every individual in America, costing close to $10,000 per household. By creating more future debt, the government worsens the present situation and places our next generation into unsustainable levels of debt.

    Whether it is the military-industrial complex, Big Oil, Big Pharm, Big Ag, or the financial firms who bankroll their career politicians into power, the crony corporatism and revolving door between the government and Wall Street must end. I am the only candidate to not accept and pledge never to accept, money from corporations and lobbyist groups.

    To create jobs, we must first realize that the massive unemployment we have today is purely a creation of the governments' interventions in the economy. There is no shortage of work to be done, we must only stop the government's harmful interventions in the tax, labor, and regulatory laws. To do this we must simply ask ourselves one simple question – does this law encourage or discourage employment? If it discourages employment, then Congress should change or amend the current laws.

    While I am for some regulations like reinstating Glass-Steagall and closing loopholes in accounting laws so banks and Wall Street investment firms can no longer pull off accounting tricks, many other wasteful, ineffective regulations like the $100 billion dollar-a-year Sarbanes-Oxley Act must be removed since they place American firms at a disadvantage with the rest of the world.


    To stimulate the economy, we could abolish the income tax for 50% of all Americans and lose less than 3% of all income tax collected or have an income tax holiday for several months.  This is a lot of dollars to help assist individuals, and very little income to the federal government – they increase the national debt by the same few billion just about every day. It would be easy enough to cut some of the government to pay for this, as well as reduce the salaries of federal workers who make an average salary of $71,000, which is about twice the median household income.

    Governments do not create sustainable jobs, only people do. Government’s role is to preserve individual liberties and a sound business environment by enforcing punishments for fraud, contract violations, theft, and acts of aggression.

    Now, the salary of a Congressman is $174,000. How can any voter believe that any candidate will represent them by slashing wasteful government spending if they fail to start with themselves?

    That is why I will only accept the district's median household income of $58,000. I will donate the remaining $116,000 to local non-profit hospitals to help provide health care to the poor. I will not enlist in the federal healthcare plan nor the congressional pension plan.

    I have called upon Mr. Callahan and Mr. Dent to join me and cut the reckless federal spending by starting with themselves, and they have chosen to not do so.

    Our founders clearly realized that all power stems from the PEOPLE, from US, and all officers of government are NOT masters, but SERVANTS. That is why I came up with an accountable and transparent form of open government where all residents will have a public voice to comment on all house floor votes called Our Open Office. Unlike the career politicians in power, I will always tell you WHY I voted each way, and in that way I will be held accountable to the people.


    Now, Americans are not faced with many good choices between the Republicans or Democrats. It is more like the Arsenic Party versus the Cyanide Party. Each party tries to convince you that their Arsenic tastes great, but the other party's cyanide will kill you.

    The two-headed, one-party system that controls the federal government is repeating like a bad record - “MORE spending, MORE taxes, MORE war, MORE debt.” If you flip the record, all you hear is “LESS liberty, LESS safety, FEWER jobs, LESS prosperity.”

    Now I would like to talk for a moment about a group of Americans who write a check for up to and including their lives to defend our country. Under the US Constitution, Congress has the responsibility to provide healthcare to every veteran for physical or mental trauma sustained while in the military. Many veterans suffer for their LIFETIMES from post-traumatic stress disorder, missing limbs, and brain injuries.

    5,735 soldiers have died so far in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. [In Afghanistan, more troops have died under the 2 years of Obama administration than under the 7 years of Republican rule.] Around 32,000 have been wounded in Iraq alone, and behind each of these casualties are families and loved ones.

    Just this weekend I was knocking on doors and a gentleman had to stop talking, all choked up, since his brother was killed in Afghanistan.

    Since the War on Terror began in 2001, the expenditures for the Department of Veterans Affairs have skyrocketed from $48 to $125 billion dollars. Health care should never be lessened or denied to our veterans, but there are ways to cut costs and improve care at the same time.

    For instance, most veterans are required to travel to far-away VA hospitals to obtain treatment and medicine in facilities that are very sub-par. In fact, rural heath initiatives to treat vets who live far from cities for the 2010 alone increased by over 600% to nearly a half billion dollars! Instead of requiring these veterans to go to the relatively few VA hospitals, they should be free to go to ANY existing hospital and a doctor of their choosing for treatment.

    Veterans also face difficulty in obtaining employment upon retirement or separation from the military. In order to assist veterans, a temporary federal income tax credit could be granted to employers who hire veterans. This is a zero-cost benefit to veterans and employers alike.

    It’s crucial that we have a strong military to deter attacks against the our country and protect it when attacked. However, asking our young men and women to participate in unjust war is a moral abyss that we as a country should NEVER leap into. If we aspire to be a just nation ruled by laws we must resolve to NEVER ask our military men and women to engage in unconstitutional warfare and nation-building missions.

    That said, the United States of America has unfinished business with the al-Qaeda terrorist group. However, we are going about it all the wrong way for the past two decades.


    The greatest threat to our national security is the national debt, not boogeymen living in caves in Pakistan.
    Osama Bin Laden and his ilk will never destroy America – it will be the Congress who first destroy the country financially and economically by looting our blood and treasure.  This is the true threat to our way of life.

    George Washington would be aghast at our attempts to defeat Al-Qaeda. During the Revolutionary War, the mighty British empire was not defeated militarily by the colonists – George Washington lost just about every single major battle. Instead, Washington won the war by merely surviving, by causing the British to expend vast amounts of treasure and troops over a 3,000 mile supply chain.

    The government spends well over $1 trillion dollars a year on our foreign adventures, with over 760 military bases in 150 of the world's 194 countries, yet we do NOT have a strong national defense of our borders. We have 55,000 troops in Germany and 10,000 troops in Italy.

    Why should the American taxpayer defend rich Europeans from a communist USSR that fell apart 20 years ago, so those same rich Europeans can cut their defense budgets to protect their welfare spending? Didn't WWII end 70 years ago?

    [However, the fact remains that the threat of suicide terrorism is enhanced – NOT lessened – by the conventional armies stationed abroad in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Suicide terrorist groups – whether Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, or the Tamil Tigers - have a single strategic goal in mind – to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland.]

    [Although Osama Bin Laden was a CIA “asset” against the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s, if one reads the 9/11 Commission Report, one will find a very long record of inaction in tracking down Bin Laden who bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 12 American citizens in 1998 and was also tied to the USS Cole and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.]

    However, hurling armies of tens of thousands after Bin Laden is not cost effective, nor is it constitutional – nor has it succeeded after the past 9 years. Our nations' generals admit there are less than 100 Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and yet to capture them the taxpayer is paying to send 100,000 troops - plus many more contractors - at a cost of over $1 million apiece to fight with one pack of tribal warlords against another pack of tribal warlords. Each gallon of gas burned in the Afghanistan War costs the taxpayer $400 per the Pentagon.

    A strong national defense begins right here at home with our borders, not the borders of Iraq, Germany, and Italy. If one takes the time to read the Iraq and Afghanistan constitutions that the US guided them in writing, you will find that taxpayers here are not creating democracies or rule of law – they are creating impossible utopian governments that operate under sharia law.

    We have our own Constitution, and it is about time we began following it!

    To defeat suicide terrorists one must capture the current generation and prevent the next generation from being created from collateral damage. Capture of the terrorists who caused 9/11 will best be attained by small units of special forces acting to enforce the law under constitutional warrants called letters of marque and reprisal and increasing bounties for the wanted criminals. Without vastly expensive armies stationed on foreign lands, creating unintended damage and death to the civilian population, the next generation of suicide terrorists will have no reason to exist.

    This November 2nd, you can keep voting for those who caused all this economic strife or you can vote for a problem solver who not only has the solutions, but who will listen and be accountable to you.

    I have more private sector experience than Mr. Dent, and more industrial experience working abroad than Mr. Callahan. I have a proven track record of results and success as a leader and serving customers.  I am the only candidate with some formal background in the study of economics.

    Washington has far too many rulers, and not enough servants of the people. When I am elected, I will be your public servant, your employee.

    Congress continues to vote for more debt, more war, and fewer jobs every year they remain in power. It is like my father once told me - “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

    What have the people of the 15th district received by voting for the Republocrats?  The same results – more taxes, more debt, more war, and less liberty.

    For those of you who think you will be throwing your vote away by voting independent, nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Your parties have betrayed you.

    Your parties have lied to you.

    Your parties have let you down.

    This year you have a real choice in voting independent. I humbly ask for your vote this November 2nd.  (end)

    Upcoming Events!!

    • PA Liberty Conference. Friday, October 8.  I will be sharing the "Our Open Office" idea with this group at 3 PM in Harrisburg, PA.  Ticketed event, see here for details.
    • Crop Walk, October 10th in Bethlehem, registration at 1p.m. under the Hill-To-Hill Bridge, Main and Spring streets.  This charity event benefits soup kitchens around the Lehigh Valley, including the one I volunteer at every week.  The walk begins at 1:30 p.m.  MAP.  Please RSVP to towneforcongress@gmail.com or call 610-392-8156.
    • WFMZ-69 Debate to be televised live, October 13 on WFMZ-69, 8 PM.
    • Lunch with Allentown Rotary Club, Friday, October 15 at the Holiday Inn, 12:30-1 PM.  904 W. Hamilton Streets, Allentown, PA 18101.  Map.  Briefly address and answer questions from this group.
    • Nazareth Area of Commerce Debate on Monday, October 18th, from 9:30-11 AM.  Economic focus.  Tickets are necessary for breakfast, see nazarethchamber.com. ; Location is Rt 22 and 512 at the Best Western.
    • Morning Call Online Chat, online at noon on October 19th.  URL TBA.
    • East Penn Taxpayer's Association Candidates Night on October 19th, 7:30 PM.  Open to the public, will speak for a few minutes and answer questions.  Emmaus Fire Co. #1 on 610 Broad Street, Emmaus, PA.  MAP.
    • Pen Argyl Area Concerned Citizens Debate, Wednesday, October 20, evening, exact time/place to be announced.
    • De Sales University Debate, Thursday, October 21, 7:30-9 PM in Center Valley, PA.  Located in the Commonwealth Room in the University Center (Building #48 in this map).  Open Q&A from the audience.
    • Express Times Debate, Monday, October 25 at the State Theatre in Easton, 7 PM.  453 Northampton Street
      Easton, PA 18042.  MAP.  Open to public.
    • Northampton Community College Forum, October 28, 11 AM.  Open to public, Q&A. Location is the World War II Conference Room - CC117 located on the first floor of the College Center.  3835 Green Pond Rd Bethlehem, PA 18020.  Campus Map.
    • NOVEMBER 2nd ELECTION DAY!! Volunteers are needed to hand out literature outside of local polling stations, please volunteer here and share your name, phone #, city, and if you live in the district, your current polling location.


    Disclosure: No positions
    Oct 06 9:27 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Happy Constitution Day!

     

    Today is the anniversary of the September 17, 1787 ratification of the Constitution of the United States.   While the federal government no longer even pretends to follow the Constitution, I would like to write for a moment on the second-most important safeguard the founders tried to leave us.  (The most important safeguard being sound money, which by itself greatly inhibits rash war-making, as beautifully illustrated in this clip.)

    The Congress shall have Power… to declare War.” – The Constitution of the United States, 1787-present. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11.

    The founders feared more than anything a strong executive branch, a President that would loom as powerful and as tyrannical as a King George.  While the Constitution bound the sovereign States closer together for the purposes of national defense, Congress was given this grave responsibility for a reason:  as the House of Representatives was directly elected by the people, it was viewed as the safest place to entrust a declaration of war, and people unhappy with Representatives could remove them fairly quickly - within two years.

    Two Americans who long foresaw the day when America would ring the world with military bases - over 750 bases in 150 of the world's 194 countries - were General Smedley Butler, WWI hero with two congressional Medals of Honor, the highest decorated Marine in US history and Garet Garret, who wrote the long-lost text of "The People's Pottage" in 1953.

    These men both understood the clip above - the consequences of the federal government's actions is the ceding of America's sovereignty to those who control the debt that endless wars and the military-industrial complex create. The greatest threat to our national security is the national debt, not malevolent boogeymen living in caves in Pakistan. Osama Bin Laden and his ilk will never destroy America - it will be the Congress who first destroy the country financially by looting our blood and treasure.  This is the true threat to our way of life.

    Smedley Butler in 1933 wrote "War is a Racket," which neatly summarizes the true definition of war.  I'll leave it to the reader to read Butler's powerful essay.  However, I'd like to partially paraphrase Garret and due to time constraints just weave in some of my own thoughts in what Garret listed way back in 1953 as the five heights that need to be regained in the coming years to restore America and the rule of law, to restore the Constitution:

    The first height is a state of mind. To recover the habit of decision the people must learn again to think for themselves; and this requires a kind of self-awakening. This is so because thinking has been laid under a spell. The hypnotic powers are entrenched, combative and dangerous. But once the self-liberated mind had regained that first height, it would see not only that there is an alternative course but that above the noxious emanations of fear and the fog of propaganda the view is fairly clear as to the next steps.

    The second height to be regained is intelligent, public debate of foreign policy.  No longer can the President  blindly frog-march the American people to war without a constitutional declaration of war from Congress.  Let foreign policy be debated once more by those who may have to die for it, and let the wind be cold and merciless. Let those  responsible be nakedly exposed to the horrors of war, who so misunderstand the nature of what they have done that they can find no respite, no solace in the abdication of their human responsibilities.

    If they can justify themselves to the free and disenthralled intelligence of the people, so that the people knowingly choose to go on with them, then there will be nothing more to say, or to do, but to perform the death rattle of the Republic. Until this is settled it will be useless to discuss domestic policies because what is at stake is the fate of the republican form of constitutional government.

    On the next height lies control of the public purse and the national debt.  Until the people have recovered the public purse, they cannot tame Executive Government. Passing laws to control or restrain it is of no avail whatever. The only way to reason with it is to cut it off at the pockets.  When it came to setting up the American government, the Constitution said that control of the purse should be in the hands of the House of Representatives because that was the popular side of Congress. While the people have not always managed the purse well, there is a difference; no matter how badly Congress may manage the public purse, it cannot control the people, whereas in the hands of the government control of the purse becomes the single most powerful instrument of executive policy touching the lives of the people.

    The next foe is one of insatiable evil, located right inside the public purse.  It is the fourth branch of the government known as the Federal ReserveThis monstrous evil's chief weapon is inflation by the printing press. Its weapon of defense is an invisible vapor, the effect of which is to cause people to become economic alcoholics, afflicted with the delusion that they can get rich by destroying the value of money.

    It is no good to think of cutting off the head of this serpent. It has millions of heads, all in the likeness of human heads, and as fast as they are chopped off others appear in place of them. Moreover, at this point, even in the ranks of the dragon hunters, dissensions will break forth, people saying: "Don't kill him. If he dies  chaos and deflation will come, and this is worse. Only chain him down." At that every one of the heads begins to grin in a most sardonic manner. The serpent knows its life is safe and wiggling out of its chains is a light morning exercise. (Photo courtesy KamaInv, license)

    There is only one thing to do with this monster. It can be sickened and starved, not to death, because the life in it is immortal, but to a harmless shadow. Its food is irredeemable paper money. Sound money is its poison. Victory here will never be complete.  A guardian will need to be left, then a watchman to guard the guardian, and then the people must keep going back to ensure the serpent always remains bound and starved.

    These heights in the lost terrain that have been named are vital. To save the constitutional republic they must all be stormed and captured. Others are important, but if these are taken the others can wait; but there is still one more, the last and highest of all, and as you approach it you may understand the serpent's sardonic grin. The slopes are steep and barren. No enemy is visible. The enemy is within yourself. For, you see, the only way to conquer this peak is with your own fortitude.

    The cost of saving the country will be extremely high. It could be as high as the cost of setting it up in the first place, 223 years ago, when the love of political liberty was a mighty passion, and people were willing to die for it.

    When the economy has for a long time been moving by jet propulsion, the higher the faster, on the rocket fuel of perpetual war, endless debt, and planned inflation, a time comes when you have to choose whether to go on and on and dissolve your very being in the stratosphere, or decelerate.

    However,  deceleration will cause a terrific shock.  Who is willing to face the grim and dangerous realities of the economic depression, of wars without end, that have already begun?

    For the good of our children, the answer must be yourself.  No doubt the people know they can have their constitutional republic and democratic elections back if they want it enough to fight for it and to pay the price.  The only problem is that not enough leaders have yet stepped up to the plate with the courage to ask you to choose liberty instead of tyranny.

    Choose liberty.

    For the Constitution,

    Jake Towne


    _______________________________

    Jake Towne is running for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania's 15th District in the 2010 election as a citizen unaffiliated with any political parties.

    _______________________________

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    As always, unlike the NFL, the author grants full permission to allow any accounts of, rebroadcasts, retransmissions, repostings of this article to your blog or anywhere else in order to promote the Restoration of our Republic.

    Veritas numquam perit. Veritas odit moras. Veritas vincit. Truth never perishes. Truth hates delay. Truth conquers.

    Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito. Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.

    Sep 17 12:07 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Solutions with Hydraulic Fracturing or “Fracking”

    One of the most important issues for Pennsylvania and our district is the development of the Marcellus Shale Gas formation. The Marcellus formation has the potential to provide for the nation's natural gas needs for a decade or more, not to mention provide a tremendous economic boom in our state. (1) From my travels in the district, the public is not yet highly aware of the full impact of what could easily become a curse instead of a blessing.   Video link.

    The purpose of the below is to share my opinion on what should be done both as a citizen and federal candidate for US Congress.  As a disclaimer, while I do hold a chemical engineering degree from Lehigh University, most of my working experience is in the semiconductor industry, not natural gas.  (Photos courtesy EPA)

    Hydraulic fracturing, aka “fracking,” is done by rupturing shale formations to release gas trapped inside. A water-and-sand based solution is forced into the cracks to allow the gas to be captured after the pressure is removed. Wells are repeatedly “fracked” until the yield of gas is no longer economical.

    There are four main environmental dangers and concerns involved in fracking, the first two being of the most concern:

    1. Proprietary fracking solutions pumped into the well are a chemical cocktail including known carcinogens such as benzene and xylene, and ethylene glycol, the hazardous chemical in anti-freeze, and sometimes even diesel fuel. (2) These chemicals can remain in the ground and migrate into drinking water wells and aquifers, including through the well's casings, and cause serious health problems to all living organisms. After a “frack,” these hazardous chemicals are isolated with the recovered water and dissolved methane gas in settling ponds, which can also leak or evaporate.
    2. The natural gas (primarily methane) can migrate through the ground, through well casings, or through the settling process into the water supply. Residents' drinking water from contaminated wells sometimes can be ignited from the faucet with high levels of foul-smelling sediment. Firewater can also occur naturally, which highlights the importance of baseline studies prior to any drilling activity.
    3. To pressurize the wells, large quantities of water are necessary, in the realm of several millions of gallons per “frack.” Pumped far below aquifer depth, much of this water will remain trapped in the well. Detailed studies of the impact on local roads from heavy tanker traffic, and the local drinking water supply and reservoirs need to be completed, and of course is of particular concern during droughts.
    4. Soil and rock tailings removed from the well during drilling can contain hazardous chemicals like arsenic, which have been isolated underground. While this may be less of a concern than the above, caution and testing is necessary to confirm the tailings are not harmful.

    Normally, fracking operations would be covered as Class I or Class II injection wells under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SWDA).  However, in 2005, my competitor, Congressman Charlie Dent, during the Bush/Cheney administration voted for HR 6 which included Section 322, aka the Halliburton Loophole, which deregulated hydraulic fracturing from environmental regulations and precautions under the SWDA.  (Dent accepted campaign donations from Halliburton in 2004.)  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has no authority to even monitor the amount, type or toxicity of the chemicals used in fracking.

    Here are the solutions proposed:

    1. I would co-sponsor, and urge Congressman Dent to immediately co-sponsor, HR 2766, the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act of 2009. This short bill removes the Halliburton Loophole and also specifies that drilling companies must disclose safety-related information about all chemicals used to the public or during a medical emergency.  This removes a special privilege granted to special groups.
    2. However, I view the FRAC Act as only a band-aid that highlights the ineffectiveness of both the EPA and federal Congress versus the lobbyists. Pennsylvania already has “primacy” over the SWDA, meaning that Pennsylvania's own requirements are equivalent or more stringent than federal guidelines, and the SWDA is enforced by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). It is urgent to understand that Pennsylvania, as a sovereign state under the principles of nullification, can override the federal law and pass the FRAC Act and necessary acts or regulations on its own. More localized control will mean more satisfied local residents.
    3. Non-toxic fracking solutions should be developed, or even a new extraction method should be considered. This can only be done by private industry, not the government.
    4. Well casings through aquifer zones must be water-tight or even gas-tight, and have multiple redundancies for failure.
    5. Drilling companies should clearly be 100% liable for any damages caused to individuals and their property, unlike the BP oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico where there was a $75 million liability limit on oil spills created by lobbyists in cahoots with Congress. The state congress should own this action, as US Congress is too slow and also has no constitutional authority over state contract and tort law.
    6. Localities and landowners could require “surety bonds.” This contract stipulate that the drilling company should set aside funds in the event they are liable for damage caused to individuals. In the event of an infraction, money is paid directly to individuals currently living on the land. Once the company finishes the well and completes the clean-up procedures, the bond money then fully reverts back to the company. This prevents companies from simply claiming bankruptcy instead of paying for damages caused.  Surety bonds create a valid "win-win" incentive to safely produce the gas for their management, shareholders, and public alike.
    7. Drilling company engineers should disclose their FMEAs (failure mode effects analysis) reports to the public that highlights all of the technical and environmental dangers and the installed safeguards to prevent them.  These engineering documents not only list all possible dangers, but also categorize them by level of severity.
    8. Pennsylvania's state congress should seriously consider a temporary halt to hydraulic fracturing operations in the state and issue a report to the public addressing concerns. Have baseline soil and groundwater reports been completed? Do the local people agree, and are plebiscites (popular votes) necessary?

    We must as a society also ask “Cui bono?” or who profits? Local landowners, future job seekers, and of course the drilling companies (otherwise why produce the gas in the first place?) should be the clear winners, NOT a windfall for the government. In the past, government has usually acted like a private cartel to tax and spend on silly pet projects and bureaucracy, and everyone knows Harrisburg and DC would be broke except for the irresponsible money-printing.

    It is my personal opinion that if the gas extraction is to be taxed, it should serve a useful purpose for the people. My suggestion is to have such a tax used for abolishing the property tax on primary residences that currently funds the educational system. Furthermore, such as taxation stream should first go directly to the LOCAL coffers of the areas affected by the drilling, then directly to LOCAL school boards on a per capita basis.  This gives localities control over their educational budgets, which are way too highly controlled by Washington and Harrisburg currently, in my opinion.

    As a federal representative, my job functions are limited by the Constitution, but I feel compelled to make this statement as a candidate for the welfare of the people as I feel this to be a gravely important topic that will impact every Pennsylvanian's future.

    Sadly, protecting the environment is falsely perceived as just a compartmentalized wing of the Democrat party in our failed two-headed, one-party system instead of a valid concern for all of society.

    The two ultimate priorities I have within politics are peace and the environment. However, in many cases peace has precedent over the environment; for instance, our armies starting a nuclear war with Pakistan or Iran has precedence over deforestation in California.  For without peace, we can not really enjoy our environment.   Without a clean environment, everyone's standard of living and health is impacted, as I learned while living in the smoggy cities of China for 4 years.  As a federal servant for the people, I feel my efforts in office will have the most impact by ending the unconstitutional, nation-building wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

    Yours in liberty,

    Jake Towne

    (1) While official 2009 estimate is 262 trillion cubic feet recoverable (see Dept. of Energy study, page 33/116). Dr. Timothy Constadine, et. al of Penn State University offers a 2009 estimate of 489 trillion cubic feet. More information about the Marcellus Shale gas can be found from this website.

    (2) Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. “Hydraulic Fracturing Overview.”



    Disclosure: No positions
    Aug 24 8:51 AM | Link | Comment!
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