Friday, October 19, 2007

Visualize Peace

Visualize Peace ... under a Clinton administration.
4 more years of Clinton -- your choice

Elian Gonzalez, forcefully taken by armed Clinton thugs

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Open Letter to the Pennsylvania State Legislature

I am a governor on the board of the Westmoreland Conservancy of Murrysville. We were recently contacted by a gas well drilling company concerning a proposed gas well on one of our nature reserves. Our conditional use does not permit such activity. The company did not press the issue, and it was not know at the time if we had the Mineral Rights or not.

This is an increasingly pervasive issue across Pennsylvania as the gas exploration industry, spurred by the price of natural gas, are going to smaller and smaller lots to do their drilling, often in the midst of residential neighborhoods. One recent contentious case from Oakmont was and continues to be fought in court.

I'm not sure if other states have this issue, but the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a law on the books which permits more than one owner for a parcel. The 'above' ground owner, and the mineral rights owner. Is it just me, or is this notion absurd?

Apparently local townships, municipalities and towns have little say in gas well drilling rights since state laws seem to always prevail. Beyond noise ordinance for gas powered compressors and proper erosion and sedimentation controls, the local authorities can do little. Salem Township recently enacted ordinances that give property owners more say in locating wells and access roads, but a recent court ruling declared them invalid. That township may be planning to appeal, but it is doubtful that they will prevail. It is really up to the legislature to pass laws that protect property owners to affect meaningful change that will be upheld by the courts.

Is not only private citizens and organizations like the Westmoreland Conservancy that are at odds with the obvious misguided and illogical notion historically given such that there are potentially two owners to a property. Many local townships are also trying to fight the battles, often in court. What we all desire is an effort from the legislature of Pennsylvania to try to come to terms with this brewing battle. I myself had a run in with developers when I lived in Washington Township. One drilling company wanted to drill on my land, and after much dispute between us, they eventually decided to drill next door. Many of my neighbors were equally displeased and distressed.

I would hope this could be a project that Pennsylvania legislators could tackle and introduce as a bill. Perhaps some measure of protections set up by local townships should be permitted. At the very least, other provisions setting minimum distances from existing structures, and other conditions set forth by the property owner ought to be taken into consideration.

Thanks for your consideration.
Douglas A. Bauman

Monday, October 15, 2007

Open Letter to Al Gore

Open Letter to Al Gore

Embrace the Land

Lead by Example

Vice President Gore: I urge you to redirect your Nobel Peace Prize to genuine agents of peace: the U.S. Military. I also offer to you this open letter of change. Change in your style of leadership. Therefore I've offered three titles to this letter.

With respect to your continuing and newly found bully-pulpit... Now that you have been appointed the leader of our noble goal to help the environment by the Nobel committee in Norway, I also urge you to redirect your effort to 'SOLVE' so-called climate change vis-a-vie Global Warming. The best way to solve this problem, in my humble opinion, is to advocate the preservation of land. Development has encroached so far and so wide upon our landscape, that the land is finding it difficult to heal itself. How about the rain-forest?. We hear about climate change and global warming in the media each and every day, ad-nauseum. Why not hear about man's encroachment upon the land each and every day, as as wall which prevents the land from sequestering CO2. Less development would mean less greenhouse gas generation. Natural gas fields in Western Pennsylvania have become a blight on our land, and a contributor to greenhouse gases. Let us also hear about Nuclear Energy. Nuclear generates virtually zero greenhouse gas. And the newest generation of plants, like the ones being designed by Westinghouse, are completely safe and will provide clean energy for

Pollution is also a major problem, that has taken the back-burner to global warming. True pollution, like ground level particulates created via burning coal, and sulfur dioxide, are major forms of pollution. They come hand in hand with carbon dioxide, which is not a pollutant. Somehow true pollution has been lost on the rhetoric. I no longer hear many stories of true pollution. Why is that? Additionally, we hear no overwhelming mention of methane in your rhetoric. Methane affects the global temperature 8 times per volume versus CO2. Methane is natural gas. When natural gas escapes into the atmosphere, or methane is generated in rice paddy fields in Asia, the greenhouse gas does as much or more damage with respect to global temperature rise, especially at ground level, than does CO2. We also do not hear of the greater contribution of the exhaust from airplanes. Al Gore Jr., please lead by speaking in these terms as well as by example: Try to limit your trips on private planes.

Leading by example means leaving hypocrisy behind, like a wet pair of galoshes. No need to wear them into a bright sunny tomorrow. Let's turn to a bright and optimistic tomorrow by preserving the beautiful natural land that God has given us, by advocating safe effective technologies like Nuclear which generate no greenhouse gases, and by leading by example, no more trips on private jets -- go commercial!

Thank you for listening!
Douglas A. Bauman
Board member of the Westmoreland Conservancy
Murrysville, PA