Beyond arguments of personal benefit versus cost for the proposed gas pipeline, we wish to discuss some long-term consequences.
First is the concern that people who live modestly may be forced to pay for something they can’t afford to use. This would change Homer from a community that champions diversity, to one where people who have enough are subsidized by those who don’t.
A second issue is supply. Citizens are already bullied by oil companies — what makes us believe we won’t be held hostage by yet another aspect of that industry? Investing in natural gas only postpones the energy crisis. Our $12 million is a downpayment on an unsustainable future.
On a global scale, the gas line further commits Homer to fossil fuel, adding to climate deterioration. Yes, others will use the gas if we don’t, but once we are invested, it will be easy to get our agreement for environmentally unsound practices to acquire more gas. We will have a personal stake in fracking, drilling and other destructive technologies yet to be devised.
Finally, it may come down to family budgeting: If we must go into debt (always risky for a family or community), would not our $12 million be better spent on wind, solar and tidal technology? Long after the gas is gone, we will have ocean currents, sun and wind.
Personal choice declares our values and creates our future.
Jean Aspen and Tom Irons