Reynolds said her research on natural gas has led her to believe that nobody, neither optimists nor pessimists, really know how much natural gas can be extracted, for how long, or at what price. "While renewable energy industries express concerns about fossil fuels, recent natural gas advertisements tell us not to worry, there will be enough natural gas to last another 100 years," Reynolds said.
"Crist Engineers, the company the county has been speaking with about the natural gas project in Sharp County, want us to be unconcerned and even excited about spending our money on natural gas infrastructure," Reynolds said.
Reynolds said Crist Engineers write, "Availability of natural gas will attract the primary location criteria factors referenced by prospective industries searching for prospective industrial sites. In order to compete effectively for new businesses with other rural counties in Arkansas and in the region, absence of natural gas is seen as a distinct disadvantage in Sharp County." According to Reynolds, Crist Engineering's studies say nothing about climate change, peak oil and peak gas but the International Energy Agency (IEA) does.
"Although the IEA's 2008 World Energy Outlook report is being criticized for sending mixed messages, it is considerably more pessimistic about fossil fuels and climate change than the previous year's report," Reynolds told the court.
Reynolds referenced the IEA's report saying it stated, "Current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable, the sources of oil to meet rising demand, the cost of producing it and the price that consumers will need to pay for it, are all now extremely uncertain."
Reynolds said at a recent conference, the IEA executive director said, "We cannot let the financial economic crisis delay the policy action that is urgently needed to ensure secure energy supplies and curtail rising emissions of greenhouse gases. We must usher in a global energy revolution by inspiring energy efficiency and increasing the deployment of low-carbon energy."
Reynolds finished by saying, "Sharp County citizens should: practice intense energy conservation; strive to identify, finance, install or build those low-carbon energy technologies that are best suited to our area; grow and store as much food as possible; work for the enactment of ecologically-sound government policies; and reduce, reuse and recycle. We Sharp County citizens should also thoroughly research the natural gas pipeline issue before we make a decision."
Sharp County Judge Larry Brown said he will be meeting with Crist Engineering and ask some of these questions.
The court read and reviewed the 2009 budget. Ordinance 2008-16, which sited all of the budget changes, was read and approved.
The courthouse maintenance budget was increased by $3,300. The Health Department budget was increased by $4,033.81 but it was noted that they received a check in October for the generator installation that covers this increase.
Grants in aid budget increased $19,165.70. The Sharp County Fair Association received a check from the state; Tri-County Recycling received a check from WRRSW; Game and Fish Distribution received a check from the state; and a Cycle 1 grant for the fair was received. All of these checks received cover the budget increase in Grants in Aid.
The Sharp County Road Department had a total budget increase of $36,301.04 and the County Recorder's Fund budget increased by $3,260. While there were several line item changes, the remaining budgets all remained the same.
The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 2 at 9:30 a.m. following the swearing in ceremony at 9 a.m.