Okay – I couldn’t help myself after finding out the vote was even more lopsided than originally reported. It was not 387-26; it was 399-24 according to an article by Slyvia Smith over at JG. So here is the “official” news release with the Representative’s out-of-touch musings:
Souder Votes for Energy Independence
Opposes Democrats’ Stunt Targeting Hoosier Refinery
July 25, 2007
U.S. Rep. Mark Souder voted today to lower the cost of gasoline and reduce America’s reliance on Middle East oil by voting against H.Con.Res. 187, a resolution introduced by the House Democrat Caucus chairman that would express Congress’ disapproval of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM’s) issuance of a permit relating to BP’s Whiting refinery. Despite Souder’s objection, the Democrat-controlled House passed the non-binding resolution by an overwhelming majority.
“We hear a lot of talk about energy independence and the need for lower gas costs, and yet the Democrat leadership has decided to target Indiana’s refinery in Whiting,” Souder said. “The expansion of this refinery will help us import more Canadian crude oil, which reduces our reliance on Middle East oil, and it will increase refinery capacity by 15 percent, which will lower the price of gas at the pumps.”
“BP is investing more than $3 billion in our state, and Democrats are targeting it—ostensibly for environmental reasons—despite the fact that the plant will still fall within federal pollution guidelines,” Souder added. “This appears to be a sham, and I’m frankly disappointed that the House passed the bill by such a wide margin.”
Last year, BP America Inc. announced that it will invest $3.5 billion in its Whiting, Indiana, refinery to reconfigure its operations to handle Canadian heavy crude oil processing. BP’s investment will create up to 80 new permanent full-time jobs and 2,500 jobs during the three-year construction phase.
By reconfiguring the refinery so as to handle Canadian heavy crude, the Whiting facility has the potential to increase its production of motor fuels by about 15 percent (resulting in about 1.7 million additional gallons of gasoline and diesel per day). Because refining Canadian crude produces more ammonia, BP was issued a new permit by IDEM relating to discharge from its wastewater treatment plant. The discharge falls within federal and state environmental safeguards.
The current lack of refining capacity in the United States is tied directly to the high price of gas.
Every time I read this misguided attempt at blaming Democrats, I don’t know whether to get angry or to laugh a little harder. Souder calls the Resolution a “stunt” by Democrats. I bet he was shocked when dozens and dozens of his Republican colleagues jumped ship and sided with the Democratic “stunt.”
Lake Michigan at Sunset
Below is the actual vote before correction. This shows the vote at the original numbers of 387-26. Democrats are in regular font; Republicans are in italics. Yes siree – what a stunt. The sad thing though is that all of Indiana’s Republican representatives – Buyer, Pence, Burton, and Souder – voted to oppose the Resolution. All of Indiana’s Democratic representatives voted to support the Resolution.
Of course, none of the four Republican representatives from Indiana has districts which border Lake Michigan and are impacted by its waters. But neither do three of the five Democratic representatives; only two – Pete Visclosky of the 1st district and Joe Donnelly of the 2nd district – have areas impacted by Lake Michigan. The difference is that the four Indiana Republican representatives failed to protect their own state’s environment, while the five Democratic representatives recognized the environmental dangers of increasing toxic dumping in Lake Michigan as well as the dangers to the shores and environment of our sister states.
Johnson, E. B.
Sánchez, Linda T.
—- NAYS 26 —
Lungren, Daniel E.
—- ANSWERED “PRESENT” 2 —
—- NOT VOTING 16 —
Davis, Jo Ann
As can be seen from the picture below, Lake Michigan is the only one of of the five Great Lakes to lie entirely within the boundaries of the United States.