Reason vs. Imagination: The War Among Us That Never Ends

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Reason has exacted its price in Aspen, Colorado, with a recent Earth First attack on the city’s gas lines, depriving trendy folks of heat.

One of my all-time favorite books is “Pascal’s Pensées” and this, for me, is the best part; an honest explanation of why reason so often loses out to imagination:

It is that deceitful part in man, that mistress of error and falsity, the more deceptive that she is not always so; for she would be an infallible rule of truth, if she were an infallible rule of falsehood. But being most generally false, she gives no sign of her nature, impressing the same character on the true and the false.

I do not speak of fools, I speak of the wisest men; and it is among them that the imagination has the great gift of persuasion. Reason protests in vain; it cannot set a true value on things.

This arrogant power, the enemy of reason, who likes to rule and dominate it, has established in man a second nature to show how all-powerful she is. She makes men happy and sad, healthy and sick, rich and poor; she compels reason to believe, doubt, and deny; she blunts the senses, or quickens them; she has her fools and sages; and nothing vexes us more than to see that she fills her devotees with a satisfaction far more full and entire than does reason. Those who have a lively imagination are a great deal more pleased with themselves than the wise can reasonably be. They look down upon men with haughtiness; they argue with boldness and confidence, others with fear and diffidence; and this gaiety of countenance often gives them the advantage in the opinion of the hearers, such favour have the imaginary wise in the eyes of judges of like nature. Imagination cannot make fools wise; but she can make them happy, to the envy of reason which can only make its friends miserable; the one covers them with glory, the other with shame.

What has any of this to do with natural gas, the focus of this blog? Well, fractivism and, indeed, all leftism, is largely an exercise in imagination that, temporarily at least, smothers all reason. It has taken a decade to illustrate fracking is no serious threat to water quality, primarily because a deceptive film-maker used the imagery of a flaming faucet to suggest quite the opposite. Almost nobody believes that today. Oil and gas opposition has moved onto other gimmicks. But, the damage to reason was extensive and the war between imagination and reason goes on. It is, in fact, a never-ending war.

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Fracking Is Delivering Everything Good It Promised and Much More for PA

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

An opinion piece in LehighValleyLive.com illustrates the shallowness of so much we see written about fracking by folks who don’t research.

An opinion piece in LehighValleyLive.com last week, written by Dan Gordon, a Washington, D.C. writer on the subjects of “affordable housing, urban planning and industrial supply sectors” caught my attention because I’m a planner myself and so much of what Gordon wrote is pure balderdash. Good planning, after all, requires good research and what I read revealed very little of it. The title—”For Pa. fracking lacks the job-creating punch of King Coal, steel and railroads”—told me what to expect; shallow anti-fracking “nothing to see here, move along” fluff. And, that’s what was delivered.

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DEP Called Out by Environmental Hearing Board for Jumping the Gun

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board has called out DEP for hasty action in ordering a reroute of the Mariner East pipeline.

It’s nice to see Pennsylvania DEP “hoist with his own petard.” Yes, very nice, indeed. That’s what just happened with a decision by the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB). The decision is all about that rerouting DEO ordered in response to an inadvertent return (IR) incident having to do with construction of the Mariner East pipeline. Readers will recall the theatrics, as a reactionary DEP almost immediately told Sunoco/Energy Transfer, the pipeline developer, that it would have to reroute after a minor spill of 8,000 gallons or so of the stuff we’re actually allowed to ingest happened during construction. The EHB, though calls out DEP on its knee-jerk reaction.

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Benefit Cost Analysis: The Real Deal Is Coming to EPA

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

The EPA has enacted regulations that now ensure real, honest to goodness, cost benefit analysis will be done in clean air rulemaking.

Benefit cost analysis has been a preceding feature of more and more governmental action in recent years, but it’s been a mess as the EPA, not to mention myriad other agencies, have used the tool in inconsistent ways that invariably justify whatever measure government wishes to take. You know it works; ABC agency decides it wants to impose a new rule that puts you out of business but justifies it on the basis of phony supposed benefits that will accrue from future generations not having to put up with you. Your cost is simply someone else’s benefit. Such is the nature of all governmental tradeoffs, of course, but EPA is now putting some manners on cost benefit analysis for new Clean Air Act rules.

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Wolf Called Out on “Blatant Disregard for the Legislature”

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania’s arrogant but hapless trust-funder Governor is shunting aside the state legislature in his quest to impose RGGI.

Our friend Kevin Mooney, a top-notch investigative reporter for The Daily Signal, is out with another excellent piece exposing the petulant policies of our trust-funder governor, Tom Wolf. Frustrated by his inability to gain full support from even his fellow Democrats, let alone Republicans, for his bone-headed RGGI virtue signaling, he is now simply giving the  legislature the Heisman and attempt to impose a Commonwealth carbon tax by edict. Yes, his head is cocked back father than ever, his nose is in the air higher than ever and is disdain for the opinions of other elected officials is on full display.

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DRBC Approves LNG Project: Fractivist Shills Whine Out

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Lo and behold, the DRBC found a spine and approved the Gibbstown LNG project over the objections of the Delaware PovertyKeeper, et al..

Well, this is interesting. The DRBC, after several steps forward and then backwards under the glaze of the Delaware PovertyKeeper’s fiery eyes, has finally approved the Gibbstown LNG project in New Jersey. Who knew these mushy eclairs had backbones? Well, not exactly, insanely politically correct and unimaginably corrupt New York abstained, but the other four members (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the Feds) voted to give the project a real and final att-a-boy. What’s more interesting, though, is how the media reported the event.

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Propane Exports Help Grow the Supply; Why Is This So Hard to Grasp?

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

The lessons of Economics 101 never seem to be learned, especially when it comes to subjects of natural gas and propane exports.

A fellow by the name of Andrew Dickson White wrote a book 110 years with the absolutely wonderful title of “Seven Great Statesman in the Warfare of Humanity with Unreason,” a collection of short biographies, including one of Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, a French philosopher in the mid-1700s. He provides a rebuttal to something I just read, believe it or not, in LPGas Magazine regarding the supposed threat to LPG retailers from propane experts.

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