Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Your Views

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Your Views

Article excerpt

Chiesa's actions are a 'slap in the face'

Regarding "Chiesa has missed 21% of votes while an interim senator" (Page A-3, Aug. 19):

Imagine what it would be like to have "U.S. senator" on your resume. That would put you at the top of the list for just about any pursuit thereafter. The best part is you don't have to do much of anything if you so choose. The Record has reported that in his extremely short tenure, former New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa has missed more votes than all 99 of his colleagues.

Spokesman Ken Lundberg reports that when he was asked to serve, Chiesa "didn't hesitate" to accept the appointment. Of course he didn't hesitate. He made no promises and he kept none. He left for his family vacation, only to come back as the Senate went on a six- week break. I'm not about to defend how the Senate has acted, or not acted, in the last few years. Beyond that, Chiesa has cast votes that I support, and I suspect he does think for himself. However, I know that if I had been called to fill a vacancy that still holds so much responsibility and prestige, I would have found a way to move my vacation to the six weeks that all the other senators took. Chiesa's actions are a slap in the face to the citizens of New Jersey.

Richard A. Naumann

Hackensack, Aug. 19

World conflict behind oil prices

Regarding "The ethanol mandate's coming car wreck" (Other Views, Aug. 21):

While Charles Lane of The Washington Post makes good points on the role of efficiencies and other measures in lessening our reliance on carbon-based fuels, he misses the mark on energy independence while brushing over fuel policy successes.

Domestic producers will tell you they can provide all the oil and gas the United States needs in some 20 years. That definition of "energy independence" will do nothing to free us from the economic consequences of a product that is globally produced and globally priced.

The Energy Information Agency says the United States is already producing more oil than it has in the past two decades, yet prices at the pump remain near record highs. Energy experts will tell you that is because world conflict -- Egypt, Libya, Iran, Syria - and international cartels are the driving force behind oil prices, not domestic supply. For a real-world example of this reality, Canada is already 100 percent energy independent with its own oil. Yet Canadian consumers pay the same for fuel as the Japanese -- who import 100 percent of their oil.

Only through diversification of -- and competition in -- our transportation fuel markets can we lower prices. The Renewable Fuel Standard is working and has helped biodiesel grow from a niche fuel into a billion-gallon-a-year commercial-scale industry with plants nationwide.

That's what "energy independence" means to makers of America's first advanced biofuel, biodiesel. …

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