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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • The failure of the system

  • On Thursday of this week, a meeting was conducted by Sen. Pat Toomey and its focus was on hydrofracking.
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  • On Thursday of this week, a meeting was conducted by Sen. Pat Toomey and its focus was on hydrofracking.
    I'm not exactly sure how this meeting came about because notification came only a couple of days in advance.
    What I do know is the room was filled with people who are very much in favor of hydrofracking in Wayne County. This group has strong feelings when it comes to this controversial process and that's fine.
    But why the meeting took place is at the center of the question.
    The answer seems pretty clear. Toomey actually made it pretty clear when he said he's in favor of hydrofracking in this area. He asked the people at the meeting what he could do to move their cause along.
    He got an earful when it came to that concept. The group had many points they wanted to make concerning the Delaware River Basin Commission and what they say is stalling tactics among that group.
    They made several other points, as well.
    All of that is fine and good.
    But here's the problem.
    There was nobody who is opposed to fracking in the room.
    There lies the problem, in my estimation.
    Since coming to this newspaper, I've learned a lot about the fracking issue. Actually, I already knew quite a bit from living out west in Montana and Wyoming.
    I will state clearly that I do not have a position on this issue. As a newspaper, I feel we have been very fair in covering both sides of the matter, a practice which I understand was not the case with the previous editor.
    In other words, I don't have a dog in this fight.
    What troubles me, though, is that Toomey is elected to serve all of the people. Not just people who want fracking.
    It appears to me he has made a decision that's he is for it and has also decided there can be no compromise.
    I find that troubling.
    Common sense says the only way to solve any problem of this magnitude is to bring all people concerned together and see if they can find some common ground.
    Toomey represents the anti-fracking people just as much as he does the pro-fracking people. That is his job as a United States senator.
    I seems to me he should gather up a large faction of both of those groups and call a meeting. The ground rules would have to be clear when it comes to being cordial and listening to the various points of view.
    Page 2 of 3 - Maybe they could find one thing upon which to agree.
    I'm sure some will say this would be impossible and they would be right.
    But what does it say about our representative government?
    Does it say that certain elected officials simply take certain sides and just ignore the rest of their constituents?
    Apparently that is the case.
    I agree that those in elected office have to make some very difficult decisions. Sometimes, they have to vote against unpopular issues but do it because they think it is right.
    That could be the case when it comes to fracking. Toomey appears to have decided he's for it and has now begun the process of arm twisting and persuasion in Washington and Harrisburg.
    Again, that is fine, but why not just come out and say that in a public manner? Why hold a one-sided meeting to say that's what he is going to do?
    I guess in the end I do have some admiration for Toomey because he has said what he feels and where he stands on this issue.
    It just troubles me that this is now the standard process on both sides of the aisle. There are no compromises anymore among the people we elect to lead. In fact, there seems to be a trend where those with the most power and influence are the ones persuading our leaders, not the people who elected them into office.
    I've seen this in many aspects of politics lately.
    I wonder if Toomey were in a room of anti-fracking people would he say the same thing or talk out of the other side of his mouth? I would hope the former, however, in recent weeks I've personally experienced the opposite.
    I quoted a national politician word for word and then he decided I was twisting his words. He, of course, didn't tell me that, he went on the radio and basically called me out. I've yet to hear from Rep. Tom Marino about how I twisted his words.
    The reason is simple: I didn't.
    I think what happened is those with power and money told him that was the wrong thing to say so he decided to use another media outlet to blast me.
    What does that say?
    To me, it says politicians are listening to those who spend money to get them elected and not the people who actually fill in the circle on the ballot.
    That goes against everything which this country should stand for, however, it is still not surprising. It seems we have stooped to new lows in this country and I fear it's not going to get better.
    Page 3 of 3 - I wish I could come to some grand conclusion in all of this, but I can't. All I can say is I hope things do get better at some point in time. Hopefully, reason will once again trickle back into our politics.
    Or maybe not.
    Little is editor of The Wayne Independent and can be reached at editor@wayneindependent.com.

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