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DAN SCHINHOFEN: Ruining the rurals

Updated February 24, 2021 - 6:03 pm

For only being in office for about a month, President Biden has already signed more executive orders in that time than the same time frame for the three previous Presidents. Unfortunately, many of them seem to damage rural communities. I guess that should not be a surprise as he only won 17% of Counties in the last election and the vast majority of those are rural.

While he stated he would be President for the entire country his actions are speaking much louder than his words. Let’s start with the Keystone pipeline and how many jobs and opportunities that has destroyed.

First off, I do not like executive orders unless they are directly related to a war effort as, to my understanding, that was what executive orders were first designed to do. Secondly, I do not know how a President has authority to cancel contracts, but let’s move on to the damage.

It has been publicized, not by the “approved media” but other media sources, that that one action cost 57,000 people their jobs. This just scratches the surface as many rural communities would have benefited because of the right of way this project created. One such community Murdo South Dakota, where this project would have allowed construction of new utility lines and desperately needed infrastructure. The loss of jobs and annual revenue, just for that community is huge. “If it had been able to start work on the project in 2012, school districts in the area would have received $1.7 million in tax revenue, he said. South Dakota will also miss out on $4 million in state sales taxes. And if the entire pipeline was up and running, it was expected to generate more than 100 million a year in property tax revenue along the route. The pipeline would also contribute $3.4 billion to the GDP of the United States on an annual basis.” (From an article in Epoch Times February 18, 2021.) One small community now has about 14 million dollars of material sitting in a warehouse and they will likely have to raise rates because of this unilateral decision to stop work. (Obama also held up this pipeline hence the refence to 2012.)

I understand that he is playing to his base, but when you consider about half the county and 83% of counties did not vote for him it makes me wonder why he is governing so far left. After all wasn’t he suppose to be a “moderate Democrat” (I have to wonder if there are anymore “moderates” left in that party’s leadership.)

Biden also made a big deal about “following the science” and yet continues to ignore it when it came to this project. Which brings me to The National Repository at Yucca Mountain.

For years Harry Reid was instrumental in keeping the science out of that decision and, unfortunately, some Republican leaders in our State used the same “stalking horse” to win election, even though the host county, and many other rural counties have gone on record to call for Congress to abide by the law they passed and have the science collected over decades and at a cost of 15 billion dollars, be heard by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRC).

Even though the State of Nevada has continued to say it is not safe they refuse to present their science to the NRC in open public hearings and let the experts decide on the final hurdle for this National Security issue.

Once construction begins on Yucca Mountain this project would be as big as the Hoover Dam project was back in the 1930’s. The Union jobs this would create, during construction and operation, could help us not be so dependent on the hospitality industry. That same industry has been a great ally of those politicians that have prioritized winning elections over the good jobs this would bring to our State. They argue that the Repository would hurt tourism but seem to forget how many tourists have been coming to Las Vegas even while more dangerous material is currently being stored and delivered to the Nevada Test Site which is closer to the strip.

Ruling by executive order or “directives” antithetical to our Republic form of government. Maybe we have just gotten too use to having one man in power in this State and now the President is taking a page from his playbook to continue to punish the rural communities as pay back for not voting for him.

President Biden, please live up to your word and govern for ALL AMERICANS not just for your far-left base which do not seem to want this country to prosper.

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