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I can’t afford an electric car. Congressman Huffman, thinks I must. Huffman doesn’t work for Tesla. He’s supposed to work for us representing California’s second congressional district. Recently, Politico, a moderate to left, online publication, announced: “Jared Huffman told Politico that calling on Biden to declare a “climate emergency” would be one of the “centerpiece actions” to headline the Congressional Progressive Caucus executive order plan.” (Whew—bit of verbal air in that.) Translation. Huffman, along with other Democrats, including Alexandria Casio Cortez, (AOC) are demanding that President Biden use his executive powers to ban drilling on federal lands. Forever. To the amazement of many, Congressman Huffman’s clamorous call to end drilling on government land comes amid the current Ukrainian crisis that has disrupted oil markets all over the world. Including where we live. What’s behind congressman Huffman’s drilling demand on senescent Joe? You know it just like me—put us behind the wheel of brand-new electric car. Sorry, Mr. Congressman, I’m little short of cash. The Tesla for which I dream costs sixty thousand bucks. Or more. And, let us not forget that even Elon Musk, the Henry Ford of electric cars, has recently told President Biden that drilling should resume.
Congressman Huffman lives in Marin, where the average middle-class income is around $171,000 dollars a year. In Tiberon it’s $267,000. Lots of Tesla drivers there. I live here. In rural Mendocino County, and this is what I think: the price for gallon of gas is a stickup aimed at my wallet and I can’t even call the cops. In my county, the average income is around $50,000 dollars. To the north in Humboldt county it’s less than that. $48,000. Trinity and Del Norte, not much better than that. Rural northern California is poor compared to where the congressman lives. Will ending oil exploration on Federal lands (forever) drive the price of gasoline down? Stupid question there, and Jared Huffman knows the answer to that. Two years ago, America was completely energy sufficient. At that time, I bought gas in Wyoming for $2.98 a gallon. Today, in the town of Mendocino, the nearest gas station to my house, gas is $8.63 per gallon. Yikes! Yes, a profit gouging anomaly, but at some places in LA a gallon of gas is over seven bucks a pop. Has Huffman and his colleague AOC taken these prices into account while they save the world from heat stroke, or bring peace and quiet to groundhogs living on government land?
If they haven’t, I have a friend who has. Salvador was born in Mexico City. He’s a very sweet guy. His English is not so hot, but, then again, I’m too dumb to speak Spanish at all. He and his wife live in a trailer court in Ukiah. She works in home service. He commutes to properties close to where I live doing manual, property work. His daily commute is more than a hundred miles. Fifty plus out; fifty plus back. Salvador shakes his head and raises his hands to the sky, when we discuss the current price of gas. He labors for an entire day just to put fuel in his tank to work his five-day week. That’s the problem with lofty, abstract thought. Big thinkers seldom think about what happens to the little guy.
Of course, our President has already made it impossible to drill on public lands. Red tape for a permit? The dinosaurs will return before anything happens there. Huffman is demanding that drilling be stopped forever. Greens and environmentalists are dancing in the streets. However, does our congressman know, that according to recent revelations in the Guardian, Putin and the Russians have been secretly funding European Greens and environmentalists to turn European nations away from fracking, nuclear power and energy dependence? Conspiracy theory? Now days, everything’s a conspiracy when it comes to whacking truth. The world’s a complicated place. In American has anything happened like that? Russia is a gas tank. Why would they do a thing like that?
But…back to us, as we wait in line at Costco praying for cheaper gas. Has my congressman forgotten in his fervor for electric cars that his district—from the Golden Gate to the Oregon line—is comprised of rural land? Land populated by simple bumpkins such as myself. The majority of his votes come from Marin and Sonoma counties where urban people dwell. Why should he care about us? In Marin, few drive a hundred miles to work. They can bicycle to Trader Joes while they’re charging their electric cars. Where I live, it’s ten miles to the nearest store. One way. Others drive further still. Especially if they dive to work. Rural people are becoming more impoverished every day when they put that gas hose in their hands.
Congressman Huffman, hear my plea on behalf of Salvador and everyone else who cares. We need diesel to bring our food; gas to go to the store. Forget about AOC and your wistful, planet plans to remove petroleum from our lives. Wake up, Mr. Congressman! Get in touch with the rest of us: we need gas. At a price we can afford.
-Michael Koepf, Elk, California