Serving 30+ years with the US Air Force, I've lived in some pretty awful spots, I suppose, but wow, looking book, I don't recall one bad assignment. Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany, might have been the least rewarding -- we were there only ten months -- hardly long enough to do much -- but then again, wow, we did a lot even there, now that I think about it.
Now we are on the northwest side of the DFW airport -- I was thinking about that earlier today -- it seems I've lived on or near runways my entire adult life. It's somewhat ironic that we ended up at the end of another pair of runways. While watching our middle granddaughter at soccer practice, I can watch the planes coming in at the end of day -- and it gets very, very busy between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
I've done a lot of cross-country driving in the last five years. I've mentioned this before. The areas with the most construction in the US, it seems, are in the Bakken, and in Texas (especially on the northwest-north-northeast arc around the north end of the DFW airport); it's absolutely incredible. It is hard to imagine that there are could be any other spot in the US where there is so much land devoted to distribution centers around an airport. Certainly the Frankfurt airport in Germany would have a comparable (probably more) distribution centers, but they would be hidden among other built-up areas. But here on the flat prairie around Texas, they spread everywhere, literally as far as the eyes can see.
One would have thought most of the development would have ended years ago when the airport was first built, but all indications are that the metroplex -- at least the north side continues to grow beyond expectations. Toyota recently moved their US operations from California to Plano, Texas, just north of the airport.
While strolling our youngest granddaughter today -- on my usual daily 3-mile walk with her while my wife is in California -- I filmed a typical outdoor mall that was springing up in our neighborhood. I think they broke ground on this project less than three months ago. This is not atypical; these outdoor malls are popping up everywhere on the north side of the metroplex. I'm having dinner five miles away from this particular site this evening and a similar mall is almost complete just across the street.
The energy in this area seems so much different than what we saw in the Boston area where our granddaughters spent the last four years. I don't recall much construction up there at all. I remember, on the other hand, reading all the articles about self-interest groups trying to stop more building.
I was reminded of all this when a reader sent me the link to this article: The Northeast, despite highest gas costs, resists more pipelines. The Concord Monitor is reporting:
There is near universal agreement that the Northeast has to expand its energy supply to rein in the nation’s highest costs and that cheap, abundant, relatively clean natural gas could be at least a short-term answer.
But heels dig deep when it comes to those thorniest of questions: How and where? Proposals to build or expand natural gas pipelines are met with an upswell of citizen discontent.
At the end of last year, a Massachusetts route selected by Texas-based Kinder Morgan generated so much venom that the company nudged it north into New Hampshire – where the venom is also flowing freely.
During this winter’s town meetings, a centuries-old staple of local governance in New England, people in the nine towns touched by the route voted to oppose the project. That Northeast Direct line is one of about 20 pipeline projects being proposed throughout the Northeast, where savvy environmental and political forces combine with population density to provide a formidable bulwark.
There’s another reason the loudest protests are all coming from the region: They’re where the gas is, waiting just east of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale region. “Everyone seems to know the Northeast has a pipeline capacity problem, but not many seem to be willing to make many concessions to fix that problem,” said Andrew Pusateri, senior utilities analyst for Edward Jones.
And these are folks who pay a lot to stay warm in the winter and keep the lights on in summer. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, New Englanders paid $14.52 per thousand cubic feet of gas in 2014, compared with $10.94 for the rest of the nation.
ISO-New England, which operates the region’s power grid, said in its 2015 Regional Electricity Outlook that natural gas availability is “one of the most serious challenges” the region faces as more coal and oil units go offline.And yet, the "northeast" folks resist these pipelines.
If I were Kinder Morgan I would walk away and have the folks call me when they are ready to do something.
I saw the same thing when we stationed in England. The joke was that the English still lived in the 1950's and were working half-time to catch up. In fact, England seemed to becoming more of a museum-country than anything else.
A lot of Californians are moving to Texas. A lot of folks in the northeast are moving to Texas. If I "had all the money in the world," I would have a home on Cape Cod, probably Provincetown, we enjoyed it that much. I feel badly for the folks that don't have "all the money in the world" who live in that area of the country. The Elizabeth Warrens won't freeze but a lot of other folks will this next winter.