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Pointless Sabre Rattling

by on February 2, 2011

Someone actually wants to buy a Western New York business, and The Buffalo News won’t stand for it. Terry Pegula has a lot of nerve for purchasing the Buffalo Sabres. As a result, those who write the words on the pages that wrap the coupon circulars did what they could to make him feel unwelcome in the City of Good Neighbors:

In the course of making his fortune, the Florida billionaire negotiating to buy the Buffalo Sabres contributed heavily to politicians in a position to advance his business interests and established a less-than-stellar track record in the environmentally dicey business of drilling for natural gas, The Buffalo News has found.

A News review of compliance records found East Resources, the company Terrence M. Pegula sold last summer for $4.7 billion, had a middling record of complying with environmental regulations in Pennsylvania, his base of operations. The company last year paid the largest regulatory fine in its history and was involved in a spill of toxic wastewater that resulted in the first quarantine of cattle in the history of natural gas drilling in the state.

A fine? See you in Hell, East Resources. Also, are the cattle okay? I’m worried about steak. Not only did he deal with regulations while make money running a business: he also gave some of it to those who seek to represent us:

Pegula has made more than $630,000 in campaign contributions to Republican politicians and committees who support what one observer termed his “very, very conservative” positions on global warming and taxes and regulations related to the natural gas industry.

The News thinks it’s news that everyone has the right to donate to candidates. People often do so in an attempt to curry favor, as Goldman Sachs bigwigs did with Barack Obama.  Another good example would be the owner of a certain local newspaper giving money to politicians as a hobby.

The key is to see if such gifts lead to favors from politicians. We can then hold them accountable by either voting out the recipients or not patronizing businesses belonging to the contributors.

Sadly, it’s trickier to punish lousy journalists. The article relies egregiously heavily on quotes from members of liberal advocacy group Common Cause. There is also ample space devoted to a, surprise, partisan environmental group called PennFuture. The article demonstrates the results of networking done among #p2 Twitter hashtag users.

By contrast, an article of over 2,200 words devotes three measly paragraphs to quotes from a single Pegula defender. Earle Robbins, “who acts as a liaison between energy companies and landowners as they negotiate drilling leases,” should feel honored to be selected as the closest thing to a token conservative.

The reporter seemingly missed that day of journalism school where students learn about the necessity of balance, as he included no quotes from people who appreciate having power or jobs thanks to Pegula. Once again, the rag’s staffers decided to be confrontational rather than merely critical.

And it was surely coincidental that the paper’s target was a Republican fossil fuel man. The worst thing about such discreditable journalism is that they don’t even get Robert Edgar-signed checks in exchange for their advocacy.

The process of acquiring natural gas is as difficult as it is necessary. The alternative is to sit in dark caves while being smug about one’s carbon footprint until hypothermia kicks in.

Some people want the benefits of civilization without any tradeoffs. There is risk involved as long as there are heated buildings.

Fining companies for honest errors made during their pursuit of an indispensable energy source is far superior to buying energy from international thugs or hoping solar energy can power all our light bulbs. Without domestic production, we’re at the mercy of the whims of despots and/or clouds.

Pegula’s ownership will do more for Buffalo than every Rod Watson and Jeff Simon column ever published. Maybe that’s the problem. The city’s hockey franchise is infinitely more beloved than its newspaper, which irritates workers at the latter to no end.

That’s why the hacks focused upon the occasional errors of a new Buffalo figure’s former company rather than its overwhelmingly numerous benefits. They also forgot to focus upon his unbelievable philanthropic work. On top of that, they didn’t question whether the regulatory burden his company faced was excessive. The paper speaks truth to power unless it involves challenging government regulations on business.

How hospitable! Pegula should know that very few members of the community his franchise calls home are as truculently unfriendly as its print journalists. The Buffalo News is nothing like Buffalo.

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One Comment
  1. Steve permalink

    Thank you or exposing those phonies at the News. He’s a Republican, this is just the begining of the attacts. Please keep call them out on it. It sucks to have just one daily newspaper in town. We need Rupert to start one up here…

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