Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Energy independence depends on 10 new Senators

Bill Flores – EPA and Obama “have Texas in their crosshairs”

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just nine percent (9%) of Likely U.S. Voters rate the job Congress is doing as good or excellent. Sixty-three percent (63%) view Congress’ job performance as poor.

In a conference call, U.S. Representative Bill Flores told about 3,000 constituents from the natural gas-rich four northernmost counties of District 17 that America's economic future depends on a minimum of 10 new conservative Senators winning seats in the elections of 2012.

The freshman Representative answered each question regarding balancing the budget, cutting deficit spending, putting Americans back to work and holding the line on taxes in the same way.

To get any “traction” in the Senate, the GOP needs to seat a minimum of 10 new conservative Senators.

In his 10 months of service as a Congressman, he has seen bill after bill that would grow jobs in the oil fields go down to defeat and wind up in (Senate Majority Leader) “Harry Reid's trash can,” the Bryan oil man said.

In the holding action going in to 2012, he proposed that the new conservative House majority continue to defund EPA operations to the point where the bureaucracy has little reasonable chance of frustrating efforts to put a crimp in America's energy posture through environmental regulations.

“The EPA and the administration seem to have Texas in their crosshairs,” he concluded.

The evidence is plain enough to see. A half dozen bills to open new areas of the Atlantic coastline, Florida's offshore and the eastern Gulf of Mexico went down to a grubbing defeat through the inaction of the Democrat-controlled Senate. Ditto to plans to drill in the Alaska Natural Wildlife Reserve of the Northern Slope.

The first term Congressman, a veteran of the domestic oil and gas drilling business in Texas and Louisiana, explained to his auditors that the part of the wildlife preserve that would be drilled through horizontal techniques is an area “about the size of D/FW Airport.”

Hundreds of thousands of jobs hang in the balance, everything from pipelining to cooking on offshore rigs, throwing chain on drilling floors, driving trucks in west Texas, and building oil tools in Houston. Nineteen thousand of those offshore workers are from Texas, and that hurts the economy.

Five hundred Texas jobs bit the dust with the surprise move by the EPA impose new regulations on Luminant Energy's 5 coal-fired electrical generating plants.

“No one in Texas thought they would be involved,” said Mr. Flores in answer to a caller's question. Thirty Texas Congressmen have signed a letter asking the EPA to reconsider.

A Department of the Interior slowdown in approval of oil and gas drilling permits has idled thousands upon thousands of workers, some 19,000 in the Texas offshore oil fields.

The Bakken oil and gas play in North Dakota and Montana has given that state a 3 – 4% unemployment rate, good news in the recession that seems to drag on like a case of late spring flu.

The only relief in sight is the Keystone oil sands pipeline from Alberta to Houston, something that would put 700,000 to one million people to work.

In summing up, he made some promises to his constituents from Hood, Somervell, Johnson and Bosque Counties.

In terms of personal sacrifice in the deficit fight, “You'll see me introducing legislation in the next couple of weeks to cut Congressmen's pay whenever deficit spending exceeds certain levels.”

He likened the concept to times when as chief executive officer of his own operation, he was the first to take a pay cut in hard times and the last to get a raise when the turbulence was behind the company.

When it comes to flat tax and fair tax – something he compared to a national sales tax in reality – he said, “First, we need to fix the tax system we have today – make it fair, simpler, to get the economy on its feet, and then talk about the new forms of taxes.”

Exploit oil and gas properties on public lands owned by taxpayers first so they get the benefit of their own energy wealth, then ship American jobs overseas only when it's necessary to get the oil and gas needed to run the country from foreign oil fields.

Rally conservatives to fight a proposed 3% withholding tax on any business with a government contract. A lot of those businesses are small businesses, and their margin of profit is too slim to allow the government to withhold that much of their cash flow without succumbing to the competition of much larger organizations.

Pass a balanced budget amendment and get it ratified. The idea is to limit Congressional spending to no more dollars going out than there is revenue to cover coming in. The fine details, procedures in war time, national emergencies, are yet to be worked out, but he says he will support and vote for anything his colleagues craft in the interim. The problem is serious enough that the solution to it needs to be inscribed in the U.S. Constitution and ratified by the state Legislatures, according to Bill Flores.

Cutting spending is a cultural problem, no less than Congressional gridlock, he says. The U.S. Postal Service is so hidebound in its ways that easy fixes are impossible due to the lethargy of a bureaucracy so long in place and fixed in its ways that business techniques don't even make any sense to the managers who run it.

He supports Congressman Darrell Issa's bill that would call for an elimination of door to door mail delivery and the innovation of cluster boxes. It would lead to an estimated saving of $3.5 billion a year.

So, how do you get those 10 new GOP faces in the Senate?

Time and money, said Mr. Flores. You spend both liberally. Add in a little shoe leather, and it can be done.

Send money to your favorite conservative Senatorial candidate in the state of your choice.

Make phone calls from your Texas phone on behalf of the conservative candidate of your choice in another state. Their campaign staff will be glad you volunteered, and you don't have to leave home.

Travel to that state in the last critical weeks and days of the campaign and walk the blocks – house by house – asking for the vote for your candidate of choice.

Explain to people in that other state how important it is to folks in the Lone Star State that they see it your way and give the conservative candidate the nod.

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