Opinion: Kentucky tax breaks for Ark park with cuts in education a bad idea

Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:06 AM | Contributed by Jeff

In one of the most spectacularly mis-prioritized state budgets in recent memory, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D), is suggesting over $50 million in cuts to education – while preserving $43 million in tax breaks for the Ark Encounter, a creationist amusement park centered around a life-sized Noah’s Ark. The park is sponsored by Answers In Genesis, a non-profit organization that promotes a “literalist” interpretation of the Book of Genesis while promoting an anti-evolution (and other sciences) agenda.

Read more from Forbes.

Monday, January 30, 2012 11:00 AM
Jeff's avatar

You won't find any such threads shut down for disagreement. It doesn't happen. You're not the first to make a stupid claim like that, and you won't likely be the last.

Disagreement is fine, you just go about it in a wordy, non-concise way that I find boring.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Monday, January 30, 2012 1:26 PM

Hard to be bored with that you don't read. ;)

But the "its too long" and "I didn't read it" defenses are probably better than sticking to the topic in this case.

I could see how defending 3 years of environmental studies as "moving to fast" is not something anyone would want to continue discussing. Particularly if you simultaneously take the position that our politicians don't "artificially" limit job access and want to accuse others of playing politics.

My disagreeing opinion is that Obama and those of you who support this move are doing NOTHING BUT PLAYING POLITICS.
A sick kind of politics that is 180 degrees opposite the rhetoric that he/you (generic you) support energy independence and shovel ready jobs for the economy. He/you support no such thing. You (generic) support unproven green technology that has failed as an energy source and at job creation. And they have not failed on their own. They took taxpayer money with them.

Actions show the truth. Watch the rhetoric on the campaign trail. "Energy independence" does not mean we should utilize our own energy sources that actually work and have a demand. It means we should have the taxpayer keep subsidizing these failed "green" technologies that are not ready.

And spare any talk of "environmental" concerns. Any open minded fool knows that transporting oil by rail and sea is much more environmentally risky than utilizing a pipeline.

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Monday, January 30, 2012 2:52 PM

New to this argument here, but I couldn't help but speak up now. I try to remain neutral in political arguments, so I hope what I have to say is presented as objectively as possible with little opinion (if it's possible). Just some observations to keep in mind.

Regarding the argument about Obama's support of energy independence:

1. You only hear about the failed companies investing in green technologies, especially the ones that have been given help by the government.

2. The oil delivered by the Keystone XL would be refined by the US, but not sold in the US. It would have no impact on energy independence. With that said, the only actual major benefit this has to the US is potential jobs created, whatever that number may be. And I'm not sure when jobs became the only consideration in major government-funded projects, but (regardless of other factors for now) with the cost of the pipeline, the cost-to-job ratio would be pretty high.

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Monday, January 30, 2012 4:32 PM
rollergator's avatar

Any open-minded fool might not know that the Ogallala Aquifer supplies the heartland, where we grow food for worldwide distribution, with fresh water. Don't get me wrong, I am aware that pipelines are typically safer than transporting by rail, road, or taker...but to take the "you're killing jobs" approach without any concern for other considerations is extremely short-sighted.

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Monday, January 30, 2012 4:46 PM

And I'm not sure when jobs became the only consideration in major government-funded projects, but (regardless of other factors for now) with the cost of the pipeline, the cost-to-job ratio would be pretty high.

1. No one said jobs were the only consideration.

2. This project is not govt. funded.

3. Who cares what the cost-to-job ratio is when private industry is paying the tab?

Gator, is this pipeline more dangerous than the others that already cross the Ogallala aquifer?

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Monday, January 30, 2012 6:20 PM

Any open-minded fool might not know that the Ogallala Aquifer supplies the heartland, where we grow food for worldwide distribution, with fresh water.

Any chance the same open-minded fool is aware of this? ;)


http://www.keystonexlnebraska.com/the-facts/the-ogallala-aquifer



  • Today, nearly 25,000 miles of petroleum pipelines exist within the Ogallala Aquifer, including 2,000 miles in Nebraska. These pipelines transport about 730,000,000,000 barrels of crude oil across the aquifer – each year, including nearly 100,000,000 barrels of crude oil transported across the aquifer in Nebraska. After this oil is refined into gasoline, diesel fuel, aviation gas and other products, pipelines transport much of it back across the aquifer for use on Nebraska farms, ranches and roads.

Last edited by Aamilj, Monday, January 30, 2012 6:21 PM
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Monday, January 30, 2012 6:31 PM

but to take the "you're killing jobs" approach without any concern for other considerations is extremely short-sighted.

I think three years of environmental studies for which no major environmental issue has been discovered, combined with the aforementioned thousands of miles of perfectly functional pipelines should satisfy reasonable minds that prudence has been conducted. If this were truly about the environment, environmentalists would support this pipeline as means to reduce tanker risk.

I dare say that any "open-mined fool" who takes time to look at ALL considerations of this pipeline can not help but conclude that it is the president and his supporters who are "short-sighted." The short sightedness ending the day after the election.

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Monday, January 30, 2012 10:40 PM
rollergator's avatar

Please don't cite "Keystone XL Nebraska" as a source of "the facts". LOL...

I don't think environmental concerns were the trump card. I think it was one of a variety of factors. Given what's going on with 15 students in NY right now as a likely consequence of a 40-year-old chemical spill, we do have reason to be concerned.

Also, pretty sure someone mentioned that Keystone would do NOTHING for US energy independence - all the oil was bound for export.

Lastly, I'm not even saying I would have nixed the pipeline - I will say that it's better to consider more than JUST jobs.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:13 AM

The oil delivered by the Keystone XL would be refined by the US, but not sold in the US. It would have no impact on energy independence.

Indeed the above claim was made, with no supporting evidence. If we take it at face value, it means the Canadian oil will be refined in the US and all the products shipped overseas, meanwhile we bring in tankered oil to refine into products to sell in this country.

The above *could* be true, I suppose.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:49 AM

What does the concept of energy independence mean with respect to a global commodity like oil?

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012 11:26 AM

What does the concept of energy independence mean with respect to a global commodity like oil?

First you have to define "energy independence." Most people think of "energy independence" as the USA/North America drilling, mining their own resources for self stability. Most think of the traditional and proven means by which we get the vast majority of our energy today (oil, coal...and should be more natural gas). We think drill for our own resources.

When the president talks about "energy independence"...he means Green. He won't specifically say this, but his actions prove it. Never mind that the technology is not ready and the demand is not there yet. He and a good portion of his base have no intentions of supporting any "traditional" energy projects. They may go along reluctantly for political expediency...as he will on XL right after the election...but it is clear where his heart is.

I expect feigned anger for the previous paragraph, but that is the truth. It is the truth without judgment (though my opinions are known).

Knowing this...absent an unforeseen dramatic jump in the efficiency, affordability, and practicality of some new "green" energy source..."Energy Independence" is not happening soon.

With respect to oil. No matter where the oil is drilled/mined...the world market will set the price. The argument is that when all hell breaks lose it makes sense to have your energy source close to home. It makes sense to buy from friends. It makes sense to reduce your presence in a region of the world that has caused us so much grief, and simply do not like us/want us there.

Lastly, I'm not even saying I would have nixed the pipeline - I will say that it's better to consider more than JUST jobs.

And we have showed you time and time again that more than just jobs was considered. It was considered for three (3) years. How many years would be acceptable? We've showed you that there are already 25,000 miles of oil pipeline running without hitch in the Ogallala Aquifer. The project has been vetted and shown to be safe.

This was denied for pure political reasons. To pretend there is some hypothetical environmental issue out there that the president is losing sleep over is disingenuous. Any "open-minded fool" knows the president is appeasing a radical base. In doing so it proves his rhetoric about "shovel ready jobs" and "energy independence" was a load of crap.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012 12:38 AM

Why has it not been brought up that having a good portion of oil coming from a stable entity like Canada may have a positive effect on the U.S. economy?

I fail to see how there could be a downside, even if the jobs are temporary, there is sill tax contributions to be made from it.

Last edited by Cypr3ss187, Wednesday, February 1, 2012 12:39 AM
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012 3:00 AM

^ Because as long as oil remains a commodity traded on the global market, it doesn't really matter much where it comes from because it could be traded to anywhere.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012 5:02 PM

Even if we accept the premise that EVERY OUNCE of oil refined in our country is shipped elsewhere...which we don't... The refinery jobs, etc are a net positive.

But that is not the real concern. In a country founded on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...every state that this pipeline goes through has indicated that they would like that pipeline to facilitate their pursuit of happiness. Every permit has been approved. Every environmental impact study has been passed. Three years of financial and emotional investment has been utilized by numerous American citizens in every state to comply with regulations. After playing by the rules, and passing every step of the way, our government...without reasonable cause nixed the project.

A minority viewpoint that is unfortunately shared by the commander and chief has at least temporarily blocked many citizens' pursuit of occupation/happiness.

Even IF this project turns out to be a financial failure...so what? As citizens of the United States we have the right to pursue good and bad ideas as long as we do not infringe upon other's rights. Due diligence indicates that this project was not going to infringe upon ANYBODY...and certainly not to the extent of the many projects approved before it.

It is sad commentary that one man with a minority viewpoint can infringe upon the very rights granted to us via the Declaration of Independence.

That my friends is a much more damaging precedence than any hypothetical environmental spill OR unrealized tax gain. The very essence of our government's foundation is being pissed on...and there are some who seem "ok" with that.

Even if you agree with the president's position...I would hope that you could see how damaging the means are. What happens when something you want and work years to obtain is unilaterally taken from you by one person? It is about as un-American as you can be.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012 6:26 PM
Jeff's avatar

Are you kidding me? Have you ever worked for someone other than yourself?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Thursday, February 2, 2012 7:55 AM
OhioStater's avatar

My disagreeing opinion is that Obama and those of you who support this move are doing NOTHING BUT PLAYING POLITICS.A sick kind of politics that is 180 degrees opposite the rhetoric that he/you (generic you) support energy independence and shovel ready jobs for the economy. He/you support no such thing.

The funniest part about our argument, Aamilj, is that you have also been sucked into playing politics.

The whole pipeline issue was political from the beginning; is now, and ever shall be. You have just been sucked onto the side of Fox news, and you seem to be about as open minded as their broadcasts.

Funny, I thought any open minded fool could see that as well.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012 10:37 AM

...And that 'Like' button is coming on exactly when, Jeff? :)


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Thursday, February 2, 2012 10:42 AM
Jeff's avatar

It'll be awhile. I have to rebuild pretty much the entire site, too. :)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Thursday, February 2, 2012 5:12 PM

The funniest part about our argument, Aamilj, is that you have also been sucked into playing politics.

Thank goodness I don't have the power to unilaterally piss away 3 years and thousands of man hours based upon MY politics. Key difference...

The whole pipeline issue was political from the beginning

Only because a small sample of extreme environmentalists have the president's ear. You certainly can't blame that on me and others who don't look at energy policy as the appropriate forum for politics.

You have just been sucked onto the side of Fox news.

Fox News fits into this conversation like a glove on OJ...? I'm pretty sure it is the president who unilaterally blocked this project. You know the president who always champions "shovel-ready" jobs and "energy-independence" in his campaign speeches...? But if Fox News is with the majority of Americans on this issue, I'll take that as a compliment.

you seem to be about as open minded as their broadcasts.

For most fair and reasonable people, three years is enough to pass the "open-minded" test. If there had not been due diligence performed for three years, your attacks might have merit. But since EVERYBODY who has read any of this thread realizes that three years and countless miles of safe pipeline are stipulated... Safe to say the confines of the closed-minded side with the president on this one.

All the +1's in the world don't change the fact that the president and his supporters are the one's who played politics with a perfectly vetted shovel-ready job that could only be a net positive for his professed goal of energy independence. Only closed-minded environmentalists could look at 3 years of passed environmental tests and decades of safe pipeline utilization and STILL block this project.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012 6:36 PM
OhioStater's avatar

Actually, it was a bad deal from the beginning. However, if you are uneducated on the facts, you could easily be duped into thinking Obama is 100% nuts on this one...and certainly evil.

The Republicans in Congress also know it's bad...and they also knew the President would not go along with it (not to mention the silly deadline they gave him, which was completely moronic...gosh, can't see through that one).

So, you have a deal that both sides know is bad for America, and you know the President would never sign off on it.

So, how do you use this to your favor?

You convince the Lemmings of America who still think Obama is some form of the Anti-Christ that the pipeline is actually good all around for the USA (remember, you know all along it will never go through....so you're safe)....next, you force the President into making the final call, and SHAZAM! The President looks like he is anti-job. Which is just stupid.

So, Aamilj, that's what really went down. It was never going to pass, everyone knew it was bad (Red and Blue people)...and the public was told it was good just to make Obama look bad.

The deal was good for one entity; TransCanada...well, and Republicans if you consider the unfortunate people they fooled with the whole scheme.

Allow me to help you, though. You linked to a "fact sheet" that was designed by proponents of the pipeline going through (that would be TransCanada). That's like relying on a drug company's own research study to see if a drug is effective. To be honest, the simple fact that you would do that makes your entire litany of posts completely discredited.


The facts? 4,000 tops (and they are temp jobs), the pipeline has already experienced massive leaks (just ask North Dakota), and just ask the governor of Michigan how "worth it" having such a pipeline is. They are still cleaning up.


And that's just for starters. I'm all for jobs. I'm just not all for a big Canadian oil company trying to take advantage of our own hard times by exploiting us...and what the GOP did was only dig their own grave even deeper for those who understand what was really going on.

Last edited by OhioStater, Thursday, February 2, 2012 7:19 PM
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