The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Editorials

May 22, 2014

In Our Opinion: Mr. President, we have some local issues

Welcome to Cooperstown, Mr. Obama. No matter what our citizens’ party affiliations, it is an honor for any town — or in this case, village — when a president of the United States comes to visit.

You may well consider this friendly territory. You carried Otsego County in 2008 and 2012, and this newspaper endorsed you each time.

It’s nice that you can relax a bit and spend an hour or so with us. No matter where Air Force One may take you, you won’t find any other sports museum quite as wonderful as the Baseball Hall of Fame.

An hour won’t do it justice, so you might want to just take a look at the plaques of the 33 inductees with a connection with your favorite team, the Chicago White Sox.

We realize that you’ve got a lot on your mind, what with Mr. Putin making mischief in the Ukraine, Republicans in Congress refusing to pass any laws to which you might care to affix your signature, the Iranians cooking up a nuclear weapon, misconduct at the Veterans Affairs hospitals, and China threatening to foreclose on America.

But around here, we have our worries and concerns, too. While you’re dealing with whether to go ahead with the Keystone Pipeline, we’re tussling with the same kind of questions concerning the more-modest Constitution Pipeline.

And don’t even get us started on fracking. It has been far and away our most contentious local issue for years now.

As the president of a nation that is still recovering from a vicious recession, the potential riches garnered from extracting massive amounts of natural gas must be almost irresistible.

“If extracted safely,” you said in your State of the Union address in January, natural gas is “the ‘bridge fuel’ that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change.”

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