SCOTT TIPTON’S VAST FUNDING RESERVES
United States Representative Scott Tipton of Colorado’s 3rd congressional district, has found himself literally sitting on vast underground reservoirs of energy resources. And with a little intrepid political exploration he has figured how to turn that energy into a gusher of funding for K-12 education. Scott Tipton’s district is one of the largest, north to south, east to west, in the nation. It covers fully one half of the state of Colorado. Colorado is one of the most energy-rich regions in the world and has enough clean coal, natural gas, and petroleum resources to power the United States for at least 100 years.
The Energy and Education Act of 2011 (H.R. 3235) is designed to draw upon the vast energy reserves in the United States, and will devote a full 33% of the federal portion of oil and gas revenues to K-12 education across the country. H.R. 3235 would direct those revenues derived from oil and gas leases in the states, back to the departments of education of those particular states. The bill would also distribute to all of the states the remaining 17% of the federal portion of the revenues. The allocation of these revenues would only apply to new leases granted by the Secretary of the Interior. The bill also allows for education funding in states that develop their mineral resources under the same process. “States with areas under new leasing authority will see a direct investment in educational funding for revenues collected.”
Congressman Tipton has been very thorough in the writing of the Education and Energy Act of 2011. He lets no potential well of funding go untapped. The act also requires that revenues from domestic oil and gas leases which are above the amount anticipated for a given year will also be “apportioned for education funding as the states see fit.”
Scott Tipton is no Jed Clampett, and this is no accidental bonanza. This is a well crafted, ingenious piece of legislation that literally pits the teacher’s unions against their ideological bedfellows, the environmental Left. Now I know that Scott Tipton is a nice guy, and whether this feature of H.R. 3235 was intended or not, I can’t say with certainty. But I find it delightful. Education coffers would fill, teaching positions would be restored, facilities would be built or renovated, and public schools would have access to the best technologies. The only thing that might potentially stop this from occurring would be the prohibitive activities of the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and leftist environmentalist organizations. H.R. 3235 presents a catch 22 for hard-core liberals, but for prosperity-minded conservatives, it is a motherlode of cunning.
The Education and Energy act boils down to a common sense approach to incentivizing energy development and supporting K-12 schools without raising taxes on American citizens. This act implements a sort of directional drilling for new sources of education funding, through new energy leases, without negatively impacting the economy as it recovers from years of recession, over-taxation, and over-regulation. Modern energy exploration and recovery technologies impact the environment very little in comparison to past drilling techniques. Opposition to energy development is primarily a gesture from liberal politicians and monster bureaucracies to appease radical environmentalist groups. Every lease that is submitted by an energy company is an lawsuit waiting to happen. But H.R. 3235 will turn the tables and every lease submitted by an energy company that is blocked by environmentalists, is the equivalent of removing funding from the public education system. I can’t wait for this excellent legislation to be passed and then implemented. I will enjoy the contentious duels between teacher’s unions and environmentalist wackos, all to be played out in the gladiatorial arenas of America’s vast energy reserves. I will be rooting for the kids. I want them to have the best education that energy leases can buy.
By Marjorie Haun 12/22/2011
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