marobertson | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

marobertson 
Member since Sep 8, 2010


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Recent Comments

Re: “Open the line

I would like to respond to Sistertoldja regarding my position on equal rights for all individuals in Arkansas. I believe all rights and opportunities must be applied to all persons equally. Equal does not include any caveats or buts.

I am focused on serving this district and state and not the next election cycle. I believe discrimination or denying access to rights and privileges by the state is wrong and will work to try and fix these inequities.

I apologize for the delay in responding to this but your post was just brought to my attention.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by marobertson on 05/03/2012 at 3:37 PM

Re: “No. 2: Darr trying harder to get there

It is amazing how so many have focused on the obvious and not the real issue. It was not the speed as much as the weaving in and out, cutting other vehicles off and generally reckless endangerment of everyone else on the road. It is about a sense of entitlement and arrogance rather than responsibility and how this translates to the Lt Governors serving the People of Arkansas.

Posted by marobertson on 03/29/2011 at 8:18 AM

Re: “Nelson promises severance tax initiative

I agree the current severance tax agreement is not proportionate to the damage and expenses being incurred. This is not just a road issue but a protecting the quality of our State issue as we.

Perhaps some of the revenue from such a change could be used to help monitor and enforce some of the marginal environmental protection in place to regulate this industry. Additional field personnel are required to ensure the State is protected from this extraction industry.

Posted by marobertson on 02/07/2011 at 4:06 PM

Re: “Wary of the shale

Arkansas Chamber Misses the Point

On August 31, Mr. Jay Chesshir, of the AR Chamber of Commerce writes in the “Voices” section, that we in Arkansas should “ignore the rhetoric” regarding concerns related to the natural gas industry in Arkansas. Once again, the Chamber of Commerce demonstrates their total disregard for the average citizen of Arkansas and proclaims their bias toward industry at all costs. Don’t misunderstand, I am a small business owner and believe in business enterprise but the benefits of business should be balanced against the actual cost of the business.

Mr. Chesshir would like us to believe since the producer of the film is from New York City and labels the film a “shockumentary” it should be dismissed and is without merit. It is ironic that here in Arkansas quality and creativity is often linked to coming from someplace like New York City but when information is presented that is contrary to what we want to hear those from such locales are dismissed as interlopers in our affairs, should not be trusted and their opinions can not have any possible merit.

It is a shame that a state as rich in natural resources as Arkansas, has to succumb to the will of a few powerful industries whose only interest is in fattening their wallets and those of their shareholders. This is done with almost reckless abandon and with little thought to the long ranging effects on our Natural State, our resources and those who live here.

The reality is natural gas production comes with a hefty price tag and the average citizen is being asked to pay this cost while receiving little if any benefit. Mr. Chesshir is quick to point out the many purported benefits of natural gas production, but fails to measure these benefits against the actual costs of this business. What is the quality of our water worth? What is the value of our land that is being impacted daily worth? What about County and State roads and highways? How many of those $60,000 salaries are going to citizens of AR? Or is the majority of this high salary going to those hundreds of individuals living in travel trailers all up and down the highway and sending the majority of their earnings back to Texas or some other location? What the facts reveal, is an industry, which has faced minimal regulations, has had a significant impact in diminishing the quality of life for many communities and families in Arkansas.

I fully understand natural gas is a reality in our short-term energy practices and has many benefits making it a better choice than some other fossil fuel options. However, if we are to extract a resource from below the ground appropriate safeguards such as mandatory Best Management Practices must be part of the discussion. If the Chamber of Commerce is truly interested in a prosperous Arkansas they need to help protect the very attributes, which attract so many tourists and visitors to our state. Allowing any industry to operate without adequate regulations and BMP’s will never benefit the many but rather only the few.

Perhaps, one should ask, why Arkansas has seen such significant gains in the industry. I surmise it is large part because the industry can operate almost at their free will and laugh at how little we seem to care that we are slowly destroying our assets. It is very similar to the story of placing a frog in a kettle of water and gradually increasing the heat. The increase is gradual and before the frog realizes what has happened they have perished. I think this is a fitting comparison. We are sitting calmly by while the impacts are slowly on the increase and before we know it the damage will be beyond what can be repaired or managed.

The unspoken reality in most of this debate is we as a nation have failed to adopt a progressive and forward thinking strategic energy policy focused on the needs of the future. Instead we remain enslaved to an energy model from a former era that neglects to add to the balance sheet the unspoken but real costs of this outdated way of thinking.

If the Chamber wants to be serious about a healthy business climate that moves Arkansas as well as the nation forward, they need to speak out in favor of a Clean Renewable Energy Policy for this country and to tackle head on the realization of climate change and what it means to those who live in all our communities.

Posted by marobertson on 09/08/2010 at 9:01 AM

 

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