Friday, June 27, 2008

Heller's Provincialism Shines Through: Rural NV Rep. votes against public transportation

Cross posted at Desert Beacon

Representative Dean Heller (R-NV2) was the only member of the Nevada congressional delegation to vote against H.R. 6052, the “Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act, on June 26th. [vote 467] H.R. 6052 is a straight-forward enough bill, providing funding for public transportation authorities to receive grants for expanding and improving their services, or to reduce fares for their riders.

The Los Angeles Times reported that public transit systems recorded their highest ridership levels in the last 50 years, and during the first quarter of 2008 ridership on light rail increased 10% while vehicle miles traveled decreased 2.3%. The American Public Transport Association reports that Last year 10.3 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation – the highest number of trips taken in fifty years. In the first quarter of 2008, public transportation continued to climb and rose by 3.4 percent. [APTA]

“Rep. Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.) complained that his constituents not only must pay higher gas prices, "but now they have to subsidize people in big cities with the luxury of access to public transportation." [LAT] Evidently, it hasn’t occurred to Rep. Lucas that if more people in urban areas use less gasoline, the demand drops and by the free market standards he claims to uphold – if demand drops so do the prices.

Increasing the use of “the luxury” of public transportation (Perhaps Rep. Lucas hasn’t been on the Metro, MARTA, BART, or the T during rush hour?) also has the salutary effect of diminishing green house gas emissions. But, then, Rep. Lucas is from Oklahoma where global warming is a giant hoax. Unfortunately, it is with this kind of parochial provincialism that Representative Heller has chosen to associate himself. Perhaps it didn’t occur to Representative Heller, as it did to Representatives Berkley (D-NV1) and Porter (R-NV2) that a gallon of gas saved in Las Vegas or Reno (or Boston, New York, Chicago, or Atlanta) might be a gallon of gas just slightly cheaper in Winnemucca, Lovelock, and Elko?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's hope folks in the rurals stop falling for the crap PR that is put out by Heller and look at what he really does for them which is about nothing.