Economy, not politics
In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, “There you go again!”
In a letter to the editor, state Sen. Ronald Caldwell attempted to defend and promote the coal industry. Most recently, Senator Caldwell’s letters to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Wynne Progress attempt to redefine “infrastructure” so as to promote the interests of the American Petroleum Institute. Moving beyond the generally accepted definition of infrastructure which includes roads, bridges and highways, which, along with other examples, are paid for from taxes, tolls, or metered user fees, Senator Caldwell attempts to cast the net wider to include privately held means of production, existing to generate profits for shareholders, and which is not a part of any definition of infrastructure.
How fortuitous that on the front page of the Business and Farm section last Friday there is an informative article about the status of the Keystone pipeline. In it, the deteriorating economic environment surrounding the extraction and processing of Canadian crude, not politics, is recognized as so problematic as to cast in doubt the completion of the pipeline. In fact, the industry is protesting Trump’s forcing them to purchase pipelines using American-made steel. Their argument is that private enterprise, the backbone of democratic capitalism, should be free to purchase materials on its own, using its own best judgment. I believe Trump’s attempts at governmental intervention in private business are un-American and economic heresy.
Further, the economics of fossilfuel production is such that increasingly higher investment per unit of output and the advances of technology are putting this entire industry in decline. How ironic that the CEO of Shell Oil says that his next car will be electric. PATRICIA DUKE Wynne