TalkBack for June 3: Interest, Keystone Pipeline and statesmen
Dirty and backward
Maybe South Carolina being named the dirtiest state fits right in with the Republican mantra of “states’ rights.” The right to be dirty and backward is constitutional, isn’t it?
Whenever someone from out of state asks me about Aiken, I tell them it is a nice little town with a great community theater, bad roads, poor education and represented by Joe Wilson. That ends any interest.
The Keystone Pipeline will have no effect on gasoline prices anywhere in the U.S., contrary to the statement made in the TalkBack on May 26. The Keystone Pipeline will transport Canadian tar sand crude across the U.S. heartland to the Gulf of Mexico, and from there, all of it will be shipped to Asia, and none to U.S. refineries. This pipeline will be profitable to Canadian oil interests (and their investors, such as our own Koch Brothers), while posing a potentially devastating risk to the largest aquifer in North America (the Ogallala Aquifer). The Keystone Pipeline will do nothing to help the U.S. economy or U.S. energy independence. I hope this sheds some light on why the Keystone Pipeline is a controversial issue.
It is a shame that in today’s political world, we find only partisan political hacks and no statesmen.
For the past two months, gasoline prices have been significantly higher in the Aiken area than in the upper state. Traditionally, this is reversed. I traveled to Rock Hill in early April, as well as over the Memorial Day weekend, and gas prices there were significantly lower than in the Aiken area. I filled up in North Augusta on Friday evening before leaving and paid $3.46 a gallon. I got to Rock Hill and paid $3.19. Normally it is 5 cents higher in Rock Hill than the Aiken area, so why the 27 cents per gallon difference?
I believe a good way to show our love for this country would be to work together as Americans. Partisan politics (both sides of the aisle) serve only to divide us further. Turn off the news and look for ways to be part of the solution.
No easy answer
The City, County and School District have all talked about increasing taxes and/or fees. The problem is that Aiken is, and has been, advertised as a retirement community. Its industrial base lacks diversity and is dependent on a plant with a very uncertain future. Thus, the burden of “revenue enhancements” would fall on an aging community that lives primarily on a fixed income, at a time when there has been talk of lower cost-of-living adjustments for social security recipients. There are no easy answers.