But is it worth doing? If more people move here and attract more businesses, businesses that look more and more like Dallas, according to the congressman, is that really better for the people who live here? I mean, we could have an IHOP, a Denny's, an Olive Garden, and a JC Penney's - just like the suburbs of Dallas, or Pittsburgh, or Atlanta, or any other cookie-cutter community you can name.
Aside from the issues of sprawl and its consequences, there's more about the good congressman's visit, and that's his statements about reducing our dependence on foreign oil through a National Energy Policy. Excuse me, but I thought Dick Cheney and the oil companies settled all that in a top secret meeting on whose agenda and conclusions none of us - not the public, not the federal regulators, not the congress - have received any information. Besides, congressman, didn't you just get through telling us we need bigger roads for more cars? How does that equate with energy independence?
There's another account of our congressman meeting at the Lion's Club. A pair of activists somehow eluded the Lion's tight security and asked Rep. Sullivan some pointed questions...until..." At this point the Lion in charge lost composure and blurted out that "we don't discuss
politics at the Lions Club."" That's hysterical! And I'll bet it's true. They probably don't really discuss politics. They just reiterate whatever claptrap Faux News is spouting that day, while heads nod in agreement.
Here's a link to the Blue Oklahoma piece.
What follows are excerpts from the TBJ article. The whole thing hits all the usual right-wing talking points, except for their rants about our taxes being too high and government being too corrupt. I guess that when we're running a war on borrowed money and the Republicans have been in control of the government for this long, it's more than a little embarrassing to take careful aim and shoot oneself in the foot.
| Widening of Hwy. 169 Could Begin in Late 2008|
Congressman John Sullivan is still amazed whenever he comes to Owasso and sees how much the city has grown over the past decade. He continued that praise Wednesday afternoon during the Owasso Chamber of Commerce's special Legislative Luncheon Series at the Bailey Education Foundation.
...Sullivan said the widening project for Highway 169 could begin as early as next year, or, perhaps, 2009.
"Right now, we are going through the appropriations process on 169 and we're getting the money authorized and we are being successful with that," Sullivan said. "We want to make sure that we get everything completed and done the right way. Everything is looking good and I'm working hard along with other members of my delegation to get this project going."
Sullivan said a series of tests and studies will have to be completed before actual construction can begin. Studies such as environmental impact studies and engineering studies to make sure that no flooding will occur if you block off flooding or storm water run off will have to completed before the current four-land highway will be widened, Sullivan said.
..."Owasso is booming. I remember a decade ago when there wasn't much growth. Now you drive through and see the same stores and restaurants that you see in Dallas," Sullivan said. "What's good about the 169 project is that we can show the growth of Owasso and the need to have a highway that is more safe and helps the economy. That is the main criteria when we look at these road projects. This is not a frivolous deal, it's something that is desperately needed."
Among other topics Sullivan addressed; he said the country needs to come up with a National Energy Policy to help reduce the dependence on foreign oil.
Sullivan said the United States gets 60 percent of its oil from foreign countries. He said the solution to spur domestic production of oil is to start drilling in the Rocky Mountains as well as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.
"The reason we haven't opened up ANWR is there are nine or so Democratic senators who are running for president who get up in the morning and shave, including (New York Senator) Hilary (Clinton), and they see the next President of the United States in the mirror," Sullivan said. "Those democrats have to please the trial lawyers, labor union bosses and the environmentalists. If we start drilling in ANWR, we can produce at least two million barrels a day, maybe more. That's the same number of barrels we were importing from Iraq before the war."