Newsbriefs You May Have Missed: Fracking for the Foreign Market, or Where Have All the Good Excuses Gone?

Today we learned from Lou Kilzer and Andrew Conte, writing in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (about the Marcellus Shale), that foreign companies are buying up “significant shares of these drilling projects and making plans for facilities to liquefy and ship more of that natural gas overseas.”  We are sure this is just a small detour in the plan to secure the nation’s energy future.

When Smokey Diamond and I discussed this at our morning news review, over strong coffee and smoked salmon, we were both were forced to admit that this was no surprise.  The good news was to come shortly we anticipated, with a measure to tax the companies that extract the gas for foreign export.  As you may recall, the drilling companies themselves are to be spared an extraction tax, for fear they would move the shale elsewhere and/or not fund Tom Corbett’s re-election campaign.  Much of the money not received in taxes will go into the governor’s campaign to defund public education—at all levels.

But, as Pat Henderson, senior advisor to man of the people, Tom Corbett, explained in the article, the companies would still not be taxed because it would be difficult to craft a tax, based on where the gas is used.”  Smokey could not get an interview with Pat—he has taken over the “Press Release Excuse Department, and he is busy with his staff of hundreds formulating excuses for firing teachers, medical workers, firemen etc. “He deserves the promotion,” quipped Smokey, “that’s a heck of an excuse for a guy with his own tax department.”

My friend Margaret called me later in the day.  I put up with her because we have known each for years, but as a teacher, she is one of the people destroying our American way of life and busting our budgets. I often wonder how she can do all that on a salary of $38,500.  But we all know it must be true, or why would a host of Republican Governors been saying it.

We got on the subject of homework and excuses.  “I had the usual dog, mother, fire, water stuff,” she said.  “But one student claimed he couldn’t do his math homework, because he wasn’t crafty enough.”I gave him an “A,” she remarked.  “It looks to me as if he will have a fine future in Pennsylvania.”

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