Going Green

Friday, May 23, 2008

Senator Cornyn Visits With Bloggers

Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in a conference call with U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). It was an invitation only call issued to members of his blog roll.

I appreciate the Senator’s interest in keeping the members of his constituency informed through the new medium of bloggers. He closed his call by thanking bloggers for their role in sharing the news of what is happening in the world without the slanted agenda that is often behind the reporting of main-stream media.

The Senator opened the call with remarks about the Supplemental Troop Funding bill which passed the Senate by a 75-25 vote yesterday. He expressed his disappointment that the bill was saddled with an excessive number of non-defense related items that were added by members whose special interests overrode their concern for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They saw the sure passage of the measure as an easy means of adding pork-barrel items with little threat of veto due to the imminent need for the funding.

Also included on the bill was a modernization of the GI Bill-of-rights. He indicated that he believed such modernization was necessary and proper yet did not seem to be fully pleased with some of the provisions in the bill.

The Senator also remarked about the rising cost of gasoline and the impact that it was having on our lifestyles and our economy. It seems that the agenda of many of the Democrats in positions of power is overriding the common sense of developing our own resources in a sensible manner. While recognizing the need for conservation, we must develop domestic oil supplies from proven reserves as well as encourage the construction of additional domestic refining capacity. These items would help alleviate prices through a focus on the supply side of the equation. It will be necessary to expand our domestic supply to help offset the growing international demand from countries such as China whose economy is requiring energy at an increasing rate.

After his opening remarks, the Senator opened the call to questions from participants. The questions ranged from the vote to override the President’s veto of the Farm Bill (voted yes to override), to additional questions about energy (including the impact of the ethanol mandates) and gun-control.

On the question of ethanol, the Senator noted that the mandates were a perfect example of unintended consequences. He especially noted the negative impact to water and land demands and their impact on food prices through competing away acreage from the production of other crops. He also noted the negative impact to livestock and poultry producers through the escalating price of feed. He, along with several other Senators, has requested the EPA to adjust the mandates according to the provision in the original enabling legislation that allows them to do so.

He also noted that the ethanol mandates have caused many to behave illogically. He specifically cited a story released through Bloomberg on Wednesday, about the Postal Service driving ethanol powered vehicles that were 28% less efficient than similar gasoline powered vehicles. They were burning more fuel to travel the same distance.

I appreciate the Senator’s willingness to take the time to visit with the blogging community. I look forward to the next opportunity. If you are interested in joining the Senator Cornyn blogging community, contact Vincent@johncornyn.com.

Also posted on Panhandle Poetry and Other Thoughts.

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