Letter to the Editor

Your view: Emerson replies

Monday, July 30, 2007

Dear Editor:

Monty Keesee is quite mistaken if he thinks I am advocating for the extinction of the pallid sturgeon, or any other of God's creatures. All too often environmental extremists fail to comprehend the rational trade-off human beings must make any time we modify the habitat in which we live. Here in Southern Missouri, where we have been blessed with many natural treasures, we do have a responsibility to the environment. Here are just some of the ways we fulfill that responsibility...

We promote the production of ethanol, a clean-burning alternative to oil-based petroleum. We make conservation programs a pillar of the Farm Bill. We preserve and responsibly manage our national forests. We assure our navigable rivers are safe for fish and for low-cost, extremely low-emission commerce. And when we impede on habitat with flood protection measures, we make up for it with mitigation plans.

These arrangements bring economic opportunities to rural America, provide incentives for responsible stewardship of the land, attract tourism, and -- in the case of flood protection -- keep Americans who live along the river, their children and their homes safe from dangerous, even deadly, floods.

As technology continues to improve (in ethanol and soy diesel production, particularly) Southern Missouri will be home to an energy industry which ought to be the pride of our nation -- not only affordable, abundant, domestically-

produced fuels and the jobs which accompany the industry, but also cleaner-

burning fuels that benefit our environment. Instead of living in the palm of mullahs and emirs, Americans will be able to control our own energy future. Only an extremist can be ashamed of that.

U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson