On Aug. 15, I attended a meeting at the Arden Community Center. It seems the little community of Arden where I went to school is shockingly similar to our nation's economy and political situation.
A group call "Save the Tygart" from Taylor, Monongalia and Harrison counties was there to protest and stir up opposition to Marcellus well drilling. Like our nation's economy, it seems most were against jobs and progress. One spoke against fossil fuels, another against all Marcellus drilling. Another lady from Monongalia County was saying she didn't like big trucks. And, best of all, another protester said it was all President Obama's fault.
I graduated high school in Philippi half a century ago and left home the very next day with $80 in my pocket to find work out of state. Through many hardships and lonely years driving a truck long distance, I made a living while my wife raised the kids. With deep roots in West Virginia, I came back 10 years later to the state I love.
I have too much passion for independence and self-reliance to be a good speaker. But, when I see these kinds of people drag our state down, I must speak out. We are one of the most promising states in the nation for energy independence. It's hard for me to understand why people promote hatred and resentment toward companies, corporations and individuals whom provide jobs in America. And, yes, in Arden.
I have friends in the area saying the gas industry has provided them with the best job they ever had. Restaurants, motels and gas stations have doubled their business. We need all the jobs we can create to provide tax revenue for the entitlement people that won't work. Admit it, you know a few.
At the meeting, there were two people saying they don't want drilling on their properties. This is America and I support their decision, but what about the rest of us? It was obvious no one would ask me if I was happy with the drilling on my property. They have paid me about four times what the land is worth, built new fence, will soon begin more pond renovations and build a new horseback riding arena and access road. I could not have afforded any of this on my own. And when they are finished, the land will produced more hay and be safer to operate farm machinery. I have spoken with Consol about the Arden Road traffic conditions and safety issues; therefore, traveling on this road will become easier in the near future.
The working people seem to go to work, while the protesters protest. And I hope, just maybe, my grandkids can find work here in West Virginia without the hardships I had.