N.W.BOYER…Christian Author… " Keeping Christ in Christmas"

Important to know

Shifting Winds

We are moving very quickly toward some of the most special holidays of the year…here in the U.S.A. and around the world. People are trying to cope in many directions. We ask ourselves, “What about the future…for ourselves personally and our communities?”
Are any of these on your list?…or on the list of people you know?

What to do as the bank balance turns to 0 because of a lost job?

Whether to try to find help from family, to give help to a family member…or even to visit family during the holidays?

What to do with the children’s education?

How can we plan for the future?

How to keep good mental health and attitudes during the shifting sands on virus safety?

The political scene doesn’t help with all these fears. Everything seems up in the air which leads to uncertainty. UNCERTAINTY is the last thing needed at this point. Yet, it is what it is.

This leads me to share what I read in an article about the people in various states, such as Montana, that have, for generations, relied on the energy industry to put bread on the table.

They may be a small community, but they believe their way of life is worth fighting for. The question is, “Is there hope for the fight?” HOPELESSNESS is another problem that we, as Americans and those around the world, must fight with all our strength. There will be a future. It will be up to us to make it as bright as possible…with or without the help of government…or in spite of any governmental decisions. Just how to do this is what we may all be wondering.

Due to political agreements or disagreements, the people of a particular energy industry have been seeing their livelihoods slowly eroding. Here is what we hear about them, not from our own news sources that spend all their time loading us down with the statistics and horrors of the virus, but from the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) about the dilemmas that are facing many Americans today, when it comes to their dependency on their livelihood. (Article by Jessica Lussenhop)

Senator Jason Small may not look like a Senator, but he is. He represents the people he calls “The salt of the earth.”
(photo credit BBC)

“That evening, Small was still dressed in a sweatshirt, smudged jeans and work boots having come straight from an 11-hour shift at the coal-burning Colstrip Power Plant, a massive green and tan edifice whose four smokestacks loom over the town. Not long after he arrived at the Whiskey Gulch, two of his fellow boilermakers joined him for a beer. All three supported Donald Trump for re-election. With chagrin, they had been watching the news that Joe Biden was inching towards 270 electoral votes.

“With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris getting in there, then you feel like that’s gonna be the end of coal. They straight out said it,” said Ryan Hunter, who’s worked at the Colstrip plant for 17 years. “What’s going to happen when it’s all done and over with? There won’t be much here.”

The Colstrip plant is fed by a nearby open-pit strip mine, and together, this so-called “mine to mouth” operation employs about 650 workers at its peak – the very jobs that Trump vowed to save during his 2016 campaign. A month before election day this year, Department of Energy secretary Dan Brouillette came to town and remarked that plants like Colstrip were being retired too quickly, calling it a ‘very important facility to us.’  That was encouraging to hear in a city where coal energy is pretty much the sole economic driver, making up as much as 80% of its tax revenue.

It’s not hard to understand why the residents want to hang on. Because of coal, this tiny city boasts a $12m annual budget, which translates into excellent schools, immaculate city parks and gleaming recreation facilities. The fire and police departments are fully staffed, crime and property taxes are low – there’s even a nine-hole public golf course situated under wide open skies, amid red-striped rock formations and the rolling, arid steppe. The average salary is roughly double the statewide average.

“If you were walking down the side of the street and you fell down on the sidewalk, the next car over is gonna stop, pick you up and try to figure out what’s going on, and help you out,” said Small. “That’s how these people are. They’re salt of the earth… That’s what we’re trying to save.”

Michael Gerrard, an environmental law professor at Columbia Law School, said, “There are things a Biden administration could do to continue to make coal an unattractive investment for power companies, like resume the Obama-era moratorium on coal mining on federal land, and strengthen regulations on the waste products and emissions that those facilities produce. He also said that any plan to build rail lines that would bring coal from a place like Colstrip to the coast in order to be sold to foreign markets like China would probably never get past a Biden administration. But none of those things change the fact that coal power is no longer as competitively priced per megawatt as natural gas from fracking, and increasingly viable renewable energy sources like wind and solar...“The coal industry has been on the decline for several decades,” said Gerrard. “Even had President Trump been re-elected, it’s not clear what he could have done to much prolong the lifetime of these plants.

Boilermakers Anthony Grimes, Jason Small and Ryan Hunter outside the Colstrip power plant in Montana. (photo credit BBC)

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A Footnote to this blog: Senator Jason Small contacted the virus and has lost family members to the disease. His final words for this article does not ring a happy note, but we pray he will continue to bring some hope to the people of his area.

“Although experts say it’s unlikely, Small’s nightmare scenario is that a single Biden executive order could have the knock-on effect of shuttering the plant overnight. He has visions of plant managers stopping everyone at the gate one morning – game over. At the same time, he said his last four years in the legislature have made him a realist about what can be achieved on a purely political level when it comes to coal.

“When I was just first doing coal advocacy years ago, I was thinking, ‘Oh, we can get on this, we can save this, we can save this.’ And, you know, unfortunately, most of the world is below the surface of what you ever see,” he said. “At the end of the day, these are a business. And when those businesses don’t make money anymore, they shut them down.”

“Every time you lose something, there’s less of something to come home to. I don’t know, maybe in the end, I’ll go on a journey of some sorts and never look back. You never know.”

(from Boyer Writes) As a realist, I know that the future is not ours to know, as moment by moment the winds of change shift. I believe Jason may speak the sentiment of many people around the world, but THERE IS HOPE. There is only one way to be certain that hope is in our future… ONLY IN GOD, can we truly be certain of HOPE.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

One well-known American personality for many years passed away before Thanksgiving. He had a short message to America and the World…“Keep the faith.” Here is his message. He will be missed by millions who faithfully viewed him on Jeopardy.

All we have to do when feeling down and wondering about the future, just look at the world God has made.

Video Turn up sound.