The Lack of Leadership on Fuel Economy

The Dallas Morning News is featuring a really good investigative story today about the kinds of cars our elected members of Congress from North Texas drive. You will remember that last week I posted a long rant about the importance of Hybrid Cars. I that rant, I wondered aloud why our elected leaders are not jumping on the bandwagon for great fuel efficiency and Hybrid Cars.

As this story shows, part of the reason is that the bandwagons they drive personally mostly get less than 20 MPG.

Here’s a comparison chart of the mileage our congressional delegation get from their cars:

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R — 14 mpg
Sen. John Cornyn, R– 19 mpg
Rep. Sam Johnson, R– 14 mpg
Rep. Ralph Hall, R– 17 mpg
Rep. Pete Sessions, R– 16 mpg
Rep. Michael Burgess, R– 60 mpg
Rep. Kenny Marchant, R– 12 mpg
Rep. Joe Barton, R– 17 mpg
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R– 17 mpg
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D– 17 mpg
Rep. Chet Edwards, D– 18 mpg
Rep. Kay Granger, R– 17 mpg

It’s not just that we have representatives who, for the most part, drive gas guzzlers. It’s also that –to my way of thinking– this indicates they have no real commitment to solve the problem. In fact, several of them say in the story that the “solution”is “more drilling” for oil!! (I won’t list them here, but you can read the article to find out which of our reps think the real solution is to just drill for more oil…)

Actually, I sort of agree with them. I agree that we should increase the production of domestic oil. But! As a way of safeguarding the oil supply, not just increase the overall supply. In fact, this move to increase domestic production should be coupled with a drastic reduction in overall oil consumption.

By the way, you’ll note that one Representative does drive a car that gets 50 MPG. Care to take a guess what kind of car that is?

Yep. It’s a Hybrid. Toyota Prius.

So, hats off to Representative Michael Burgess (Republican-Flower Mound) for putting his money where his mouth is. As he says in the story:
“We’ve been paying lip service to alternative energy research”

He’s right.

And, as I said in my last post, you could argue that it’s not only hurting our pocketbooks but also our security too. And we all need better leadership on this issue.


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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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