Souder: Area Growth Linked To Fuel Costs

Mark Souder's Logo.  Taken from

Sound familiar?  I was at the Allen County Public Library this afternoon researching an unrelated subject when this headline caught my eye.  This was the title to an article in the Journal Gazette published on October 27, 2004.  The author, Sylvia A. Smith spoke with Congressman Souder about the effects of fuel prices on local economic development.  Some quotes from the article:

Fuel prices and economic development are intertwined, especially for a region that both produces vehicles and has industries that require a lot of energy.

“For this district,” Souder said of northeast Indiana, “you cannot talk about economic development unless you talk about oil or natural gas.  We are the biggest gas-guzzling district in America in both making things that guzzle and using energy.”

[…] resistance to domestic drilling and refineries is reducing the amount of U.S. oil and increasing the reliance on foreign oil.  He said the same pattern is happening with natural gas.

“How do we get out of this crisis?” he asked before answering his own question: Look to Canada, Mexico, Russia and other countries with oil reserves; technologies that use less energy; and develop energy sources that are alternatives to oil.”

“It is a slow process,” he said of energy-conservation technology.  “It is steady, but it is slow.  And if we behave stupidly here and put the mileage restrictions on too fast,” it will hurt local businesses.  But he said people will seek out vehicles that consume less gas if the price of gas “continues to rise and gets to a more true market base like the rest of the world.”

Souder said the challenge with pinning hopes on biofuels such as corn-based ethanol is “it takes so much energy to produce energy.  You gain, but you don’t gain as much as it appears on the surface.”

This sounded exactly like a commercial I’d heard recently for Souder.  He doesn’t have the commercial I’m thinking of posted at his site, but a couple of his others listed here, also deal with this energy theme.

A quick view of Souder’s website revealed the following two paragraphs (Wow! Such a large topic boiled down into two paragraphs!):

It is no news to Hoosiers that America is facing an energy crisis. Sadly, for far too long nothing has been done, as the Democrats—powered by the money of the environmental lobby and Hollywood—frustrated every attempt by Republicans to increase the supply of American energy. I have fought this every step of the way, voting at least 17 times since my first term in Congress to increase American energy supplies.

Becoming energy independent will certainly be difficult, but I have no doubt that our country is up to the challenge. We need to break the Democrats’ anti-energy gridlock in Washington to create more energy and spur more innovation so that Hoosiers can be confident we’ll have the energy we need – regardless of whatever Saudi Arabia, Russia, or Venezuela decide to do.

So perhaps looking to Russia, wasn’t such a good idea?  Clearly Souder’s views as espoused recently in the television ads, aren’t something stimulated by the recent fuel price crisis, but rather had been formulated years ago.  The question then becomes, what has Souder done in the last four years to change this, and are you better off than you were four years ago? 

What does his opponent Mike Montagano say about energy?

• Crack down on price gouging and oppose tax cuts for huge oil companies raking in record profits.
• Provide incentives to explore alternative energy sources and find solutions that will create 5 million green collar jobs.
• Use local energy sources to make Indiana a part of the alternative energy solution and end our dependence on Mideast oil.

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