Rep. Hurt: some clar­i­fi­ca­tions

Rappahannock News - - EDITORIAL & OPINION -

In a re­cent ed­i­to­rial [“Con­gress­man Clone?”, Sept. 27], your news­pa­per sug­gested that the 5th dis­trict’s Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) has some­how changed his views on the im­por­tance of pro­tect­ing our en­vi­ron­ment. Un­for­tu­nately, your ed­i­to­rial is in­cor­rect in the facts and in­cor­rect in its con­clu­sions.

Robert grew up in and lives now with his fam­ily in ru­ral South­side Vir­ginia and has demon­strated his com­mit­ment to en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship dur­ing his time as a mem­ber of the Vir­ginia Gen­eral Assem­bly and as mem­ber of the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Your ed­i­to­rial based its false premise on the fact that Robert had an 83 per­cent vot­ing record on pri­or­i­ties for the Vir­ginia League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers while he was in the state leg­is­la­ture and an 11 per­cent vot­ing record on pri­or­i­ties for the na­tional League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers since he has been in Congress. They are dif­fer­ent en­ti­ties, and it is in­cor­rect for the pa­per to com­pare the two rat­ings with­out look­ing into and ex­plain­ing the dif­fer­ences to the pub­lic. In my con­ver­sa­tions with Robert he has not changed his sup­port for the en­vi­ron­ment. The bot­tom line is that the en­vi­ron­men­tal agenda for the League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers in Rich­mond is rea- son­able and re­spon­si­ble and the agenda for the League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton is far from rea­son­able and re­spon­si­ble and con­flicts with the best in­ter­ests of the cit­i­zens of the Com­mon­wealth.

In Rich­mond, Robert con­sis­tently sup­ported fund­ing for Ch­e­sa­peake Bay cleanup, the preser­va­tion of our farm­land and open spa­ces, poli­cies to en­cour­age the de­vel­op­ment of re­new­able sources of en­ergy and a rea­son­able and ef­fec­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tory struc­ture that worked with our farm­ers and our busi­nesses – not against them. Just as im­por­tant, Robert and the Gen­eral Assem­bly were able to en­act these poli­cies in the con­text of a bal­anced bud­get. It was sup­port for these poli­cies that are re­flected in the Vir­ginia League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers’ score­card.

Un­for­tu­nately, the agenda for the League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers in Wash­ing­ton is quite dif­fer­ent. In Wash­ing­ton, the na­tional League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers sup­ports poli­cies that of­fer ques­tion­able value to the en­vi­ron­ment and in­stead of­fer a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on our Amer­i­can fam­i­lies, our small busi­nesses and our farm­ing fam­i­lies. These ini­tia­tives in­clude a cap-and-trade na­tional en­ergy tax, an all-out war on the coal in­dus­try and our af­ford­able elec­tric­ity, and op­po­si­tion to a com­mon-sense do­mes­tic en­ergy pol­icy that would de­velop, in a rea­son­able and re­spon­si­ble way, the vast en­ergy re­sources we have here at home. These rad­i­cal pol­icy po­si­tions in Wash­ing­ton have caused higher gasoline prices, higher elec­tric­ity prices, higher gro­cery prices, lost jobs and our de­pen­dence upon for­eign dic­ta­tors for our en­ergy. And we all know that Wash­ing­ton knows noth­ing about bal­anc­ing its bud­get.

It is clear that Robert Hurt sup­ports rea­son­able and re­spon­si­ble en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship and has not changed at all. In­stead, it is the agenda of the League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers that has changed. I be­lieve that Robert Hurt will stand for the peo­ple of the 5th con­gres­sional dis­trict and en­sure that we main­tain our qual­ity of life in ru­ral Vir­ginia for our­selves and for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. JAMES W. FLETCHER III


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