PASCRELL HIGHLIGHTS AMERICA'S DANGEROUS DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL AT BLOOMFIELD TOWN HALL MEETING
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) stressed the urgent need for America to end its dependence on foreign oil during a town hall meeting at the Bloomfield Municipal Building on August 16, 2006 before an audience of approximately one hundred concerned citizens.
"America has a dangerous dependence on fossil fuel. We are being confronted by a real problem. It is high time we find real solutions. Our energy future is our choice. An insecure energy future need not be our fate," stated Pascrell.
Pascrell, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure explained how his voting record and work in Congress promise alternatives to the dangerous foreign policy and misguided domestic energy priorities that are currently in place.
"We cannot have homeland security, without having economic security. The federal government must relieve consumers by ending the provision of corporate welfare to wildly profitable energy companies. It is also time we apply greater pressure on the elite dictators in Middle Eastern countries who monopolize and manipulate oil production. We are cozying up to the very dictators who mistreat their citizens and preach anti-American sentiments. This is shameful."
"Congress must act to implement better energy policy by increasing CAFE standards, developing alternative energy automobiles, and prohibiting drilling in ANWR and the Outer Continental Shelf. But America's energy future also lies in the hands of our communities. Bloomfield, the recipient of federally funded jitney busses' through the Community Shuttle program that I created, has been a leader in exploring mass transportation options that have taken cars off our congested streets."
The innovative federally-funded Community Shuttle program was created by Pascrell ion 1998 when he included legislative language in a transportation funding bill. The program is administered by New Jersey Transit, and Bloomfield is one of several dozen municipalities throughout the state that was awarded a "jitney bus," since the program's inception.
Following the presentation, Pascrell opened the floor to the audience and answered a flood of questions that ranged from energy-related issues, to the war in Iraq, and immigration, among others.
Joing Pascrell in answering questions related to energy policy was Ana Unrah Cohen, the Director of Environmental Policy at the Center for American Progress, a leading research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all.
"This was a productive public forum," stated Pascrell. I enjoyed hearing from my constituents in Bloomfield and the rest of Essex County. When I return to Washington in September, the thoughts that were echoed at this town hall meeting will remain with me as I strive to craft policy that will lead America down a path to energy independence."