I keep hearing that I should, as a columnist in a local paper, stick to local issues. You know, those things that affect the readers of this paper. They say I am spending too much time on national issues (i.e. the presidential race). After all, what does who the next president have to do with, oh, say, the Spectra pipeline?

Well, when I focus on national issues, it is because they do affect us, and who the next president is, or who controls Congress after this election, is of vital local importance.

It is because the governing philosophy for the next four years, or 40 if you count Supreme Court nominees, will most certainly affect you.

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Look at gas prices. Reality is most readers of this column drive. Most readers of this column use fossil fuel to heat their homes. So, for most of this president’s term, energy costs were through the roof taking an extra $70 to $100 out of your pocket every two weeks. That was just for fuel. Now, add in the increased cost of goods and services due to the increase in energy costs. This affected you locally.

Now look at the prices. They have come down. Not through anything this administration—though they are trying to take credit for it—did. In fact, like our governor, this administration has done everything it could to drive up the costs of energy with its policies and underlying theme of preventing climate change as to save the planet. No, they came down because of the advent of “fracking” on private lands. This process has increased the ability to get retrievable oil that at one time was thought to be out of reach. This process has reduced our dependence on foreign sources of oil and natural gas.

By doing this, we no longer send as much money to countries trying to do us harm. In other words, our money is not being spent to fund terrorism as much as in the past. Yet, these anti-fracking idiots, yes I include the president, Hillary Clinton and Gov. Cuomo, wish us to do just that with their constant advocacy of policies that would limit, as Cuomo did upstate, the ability to retrieve that which once was irretrievable. So, yes, who the next president matters. They will decide how much of our money will be used to fund terrorism.

The idiot list also includes those who wish to stop the Spectra pipeline. It is not enough to be able to retrieve natural gas, it must be transported. Now this can be done by sea, rail or over the roads. Or this can be done in the safest way—by pipeline. Now, we have a pipeline that does that. However, that pipeline is 60-plus years old. It is also not big enough to transport the increase in demand of natural gas. So now it is being replaced with a bigger one going along the same path as the old one.

Yet, these idiots wish to scare us into leaving the old one in place under the guise that the new one will be less safe. None of the horrors they predict have happened with the pipeline already in place. No, what we have are people with empty lives trying to validate their existence, which would actually threaten our safety unless the new one is in place.

These same idiots are the people always talking about our carbon footprint. However, natural gas leaves a smaller footprint than coal or oil. So this begs the question, “How in hell can we lower our carbon footprint if you make it next to impossible to get natural gas then transport it to the people who would use it if available?” Plus, the fact is we are going to use these resources no matter what. It is the lifeblood of our economy. So, the next question is “how do you suggest we not indirectly fund terrorists if you do not allow us to use the resources we have instead of importing it from those countries that do fund terrorists?”

So in this case, the next president does affect us locally. Hillary has stated her policies will put fossil fuel, and the jobs that go with it, out of business. She brags about it. Trump says he will lead the way toward our energy independence. For those whose history starts when they wake up in the morning, energy independence was the rationale for the creation of the Department of Energy back on the ’70s.

Yet, energy dependence has increased since its creation. Trump will bring back the mission statement of that department. This is local and it matters.

This is what I say. What say you?