OTTUMWA – Legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Dave Loebsack to give a tax break to people who ride bicycles to work while blocking oil exploration in Alaska proves again that he is not tackling the big issues facing Iowa families and small business, Second Congressional District candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks said today.
“It’s nice that he wants to encourage people to ride their bikes and use less gasoline. At least, that appears to be the incumbent’s motivation, but good intentions aren’t enough,” Miller-Meeks said. “The fact is, most people in this district can’t ride bicycles to work or the price of gasoline is motivation enough. They don’t need their congressman tying up all his time to create a bicycle reimbursement tax. The market is working; we need someone in Congress working to develop a comprehensive, practical energy policy.”
She added, “Dave Loebsack thinks the answer is to tinker around at the margins of our tax code and offer little symbolic gestures. I believe, as most Iowans do, that we need Congress to fix our broken tax system and finally get serious about energy production. Dave Loebsack has done exactly what Nancy Pelosi tells him to do, including standing in the way of more drilling so we can get at the oil America has available. I stand with the people who say, ‘Drill here. Drill now.”
Loebsack co-sponsored House Resolution 1498, which amends the Internal Revenue Code to include a bicycle commuting allowance as a qualified transportation fringe benefit, excludable from gross income. He also co-sponsored H.R. 39 last year “to preserve the Arctic coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, as wilderness in recognition of its extraordinary natural ecosystems and for the permanent good of present and future generations of Americans.”
“The resolution is just a fancy way to say the Democrats insist on keeping more than 1.5 million acres of oil-rich frozen tundra off limits to the American people as they struggle with soaring fuel prices while we’re at the whim of unstable and hostile counties,” Miller-Meeks said. “I’ll vote to do what’s best for the American people. I’ll vote to encourage more domestic and off-shore oil exploration in addition to renewable sources such as wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas, oil from coal and oil from algae, soy, and animal fat.”
Miller-Meeks has also announced for Texas oil executive T. Boone Pickens’ pro-active, practical strategy to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil by creating more wind energy sources and then shifting U.S. natural gas supplies to fuel cars, trucks and other vehicles. The plan would reduce U.S. oil imports by nearly 40 percent within 10 years and save American consumers $300 billion a year at current fuel prices. Developing an energy infrastructure for the Second District can bolster our economy, protect our environment and enhance our national security.
Miller-Meeks, an Ottumwa ophthalmologist and former University of Iowa faculty member, has more than 24 years of service in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. The Second Congressional District includes 15 counties: Appanoose, Cedar, Davis, Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Johnson, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Muscatine, Van Buren, Wapello, Washington and Wayne.