'We're Buying Oil
From People Who
Hate Us,' He Says
By NELSON MORAIS
U.S. Rep. David Davis, R-1st, of Johnson City, called for a multi-faceted approach to solving the United States' energy needs in a talk to Greene County Republicans.
Davis is running for re-election. He is being challenged by Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe, who is also a Republican.
About 40 people at the monthly GOP meeting on Monday evening gave Davis two standing ovations: first, when he approached the lectern to deliver his 15-minute address, and then after he finished speaking and took questions from several attendees.
Davis, a frequent visitor to Greene County since his election to the First Congressional District seat in November 2006, said of the county, "We (he and his wife, Joyce, who was in the audience) really do feel like we're at home here."
Davis charged that Democratic Party leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives "have lost touch with the American people."
He said, "Professional baseball is not real high on my list" of pressing needs in the nation to address in Washington, D.C. (Congress earlier this year held its latest hearings on suspected steroid use among some baseball players in the major leagues.)
Davis said he believed his constituents' main concerns were the economy, access to health care, illegal immigration and "standing up for our morals."
Constitution A 'Contract'
Davis called the U.S. Constitution "a contract between the American people and government."
In the past, in Northeast Tennessee, Davis said, when people encountered problems, "we first turned to God, then reached out to our neighbors" for help to solve them.
In contrast, he charged, too many politicians feel government should provide the answers to resolve problems. "We need to get back to common sense, basic values," Davis said.
"We want the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" which can only be attained through limited government that doesn't encumber its citizens' efforts and lives, Davis said. "That's what makes America great," he added.
Discusses Energy Needs
Davis spent a large portion of his time discussing the nation's energy needs in a time of rapidly rising gasoline prices.
"We need an energy bill that actually uses American energy -- in Alaska, off the continental shelf, on U.S. military-owned properties, clean coal energy, and through tax incentives for green energy," Davis said.
"We're buying oil from people who hate us and our freedoms. This is a problem that goes to the issue of national defense," he said.
He said that in World War II, Germany "took lumps of coal and turned them into gasoline. In Southwest Virginia and Kentucky, we can (also) take coal and fuel our jets," he said, adding, "that would be a common sense approach."
Co-Sponsors Energy Bill
Davis said he is co-sponsor of a comprehensive energy bill that focuses on domestic production of energy. He said about 40 members of the U.S. House of Representatives had signed on as supporters of the "No More Excuses Energy Act."
Davis warned, "We're going to see our gasoline prices go to $7 a gallon if we continue to have an energy policy tied to foreign countries."
He said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from San Francisco, held the power to see the U.S. wean itself off of foreign energy supplies because she is the one who decides what legislation comes to the floor for a vote.
He said of Pelosi, "When she ran for office (two years ago), she said she had an energy plan."
He continued, "Oil was $50 a barrel then, and now it's $120 a barrel ($127 a barrel on Tuesday). Gasoline cost $2.40 a gallon, and now it's $4 a gallon ($3.77 a gallon locally on Tuesday.) That's not an energy plan," he said.
Davis also said, "It hurts me to see President Bush go to Saudi Arabia and ask for oil."
Davis: Plenty Of U.S. Oil
"There's more oil in Colorado than in the whole nation of Saudi Arabia," Davis maintained. What the country must do is increase domestic production of oil, he emphasized.
Said Davis, "China is 90 miles off the coast of the U.S. drilling for oil, and the (Democratic-led) U.S. Congress won't let us drill there ourselves."
He said it would take the same kind of grassroots "intensity" that last year derailed an illegal immigration bill with amnesty to force Pelosi to pass what he termed a sensible energy bill.
In response to a question from the audience, Davis said he agreed "there's a lot of manipulation" of oil prices currently under way that is resulting in high prices.
Davis also said he was especially proud to have received an endorsement from the National Right to Life Political Action Committee (PAC).
His staff passed out literature listing that and other endorsements the congressman has received, included "the Best and the Brightest" from the American Conservative Union, and an "A in English" award from U.S. English Inc., which supports making English the country's official language.
Davis said he supported establishing English as the "common bond" language for Americans to use to conduct their public affairs.
Davis also said he remained optimistic about the country's future. "I think we're still that shining city on a hill," he said.