Niagara Gazette

Opinion

August 20, 2013

CONFER: Obama should focus on energy and people

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Recently, though, the president has broken from the far left of his party and alluded to the greatness of the vast natural gas reserves that other states have been reaping with hydrofracking (“fracking”). This resource can be extracted efficiently, cleanly and smartly with investments by the private sector being done under the watchful eye of the public sector.

The abundant gases can be used to make very clean electricity on the cheap, which will instantly and significantly lower one of the largest production costs (manufacturers could see power bills drop by 10% or more). Similarly, the gas can be used to make polyethylene, which can satisfy domestic demand for plastics, helping the market which has seen higher prices due to higher global demand. This could lead to plastic prices dropping by more than 20%.

Both of those factors will lead to greater middle class employment in the manufacturing sector because exports would increase and domestic consumers would buy more goods — all courtesy of significantly lower input and selling costs.

Capitalize on our people

Why do we as a society think that a college education is the gateway to success? For many it is. But for just as many, it’s the gateway to debt.

Success can be also be had for those who want it by utilizing vocational education, offered by many public schools and regional consortiums (like BOCES). Such programs have been grossly underutilized to the determent of the middle class: The National Association of Manufacturers reports that the skills gap is so significant that 600,000 open positions are wanting nationwide while 400,000 more exist in the trucking industry. It’s obvious that opportunity exists.

We need to make good on that opportunity and transform our national educational policy – if not society’s outlook on alleged “dirty jobs” — to account for teens being not just college-ready, but workforce-ready, too. Give people the skills that the marketplace needs. We need to emphasize and empower those blue-collar scholastic pursuits, as well as the associated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curricula, skill sets in which other nations’ students are besting ours.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page