By Elsa Maxey
Great feedback is what U.S. Congressman Pete Olson said he received from those in his district about how high gas prices are affecting their families and businesses.
But there were some that showed up at the Star Shop at U.S. 59 and Dairy Ashford in Sugar Land, where the congressman announced he would be pumping gas, who said they came for the free gas, and they said they had been there since 12:30 p.m. last Wednesday for the 3 p.m. start time event.
Congressman Olson, said he was happy to pump their gas, however, he relayed to the five motorists that showed up that there had been a misunderstanding. Apparently, one of the local area TV stations announced the congressman’s event back-to-back with a gas station promotion offering free gas.
And, when other statements relating to Congressman Olson’s event were also made along the lines of “need to fill up?” it’s no wonder there was confusion.
“Gas prices have sky rocketed due to global instability,” said Olson in the press release announcing his gas pumping appearance. Up by “close to 50 cents since the beginning of the year,” he said.
In response to the “Star’s” question about how much it cost him to fuel up his vehicle, “I’m a Texan, I drive a pick-up truck,” he said. “I’ve got a 24 gallon tank and it costs me close to $100 dollars,” noting that he spends more like in the lower 90’s or in the upper 80’s.
Will he buy a Volt? No, he said. The Chevy Volt is an electric, plug-in vehicle representing advanced technology for starting to get off fossil fuels, according to reports, which also state that plans call for a million of the vehicles to be on the road by 2015.
Sugar Land resident Mike Mulcahy, who was at the gas station fueling up told Congressman Olson that there are natural gas resources in the U.S. not being used, and “we have a lot of oil reserves in other places that we are not pursuing.”
A young man with whom he spoke, “works at the local Pappasito’s” in the vicinity of the gas station, “he grew up in this area and likes to go fishing down in Galveston, but he can’t go anymore, because he said, I can’t afford the gas and it’s a pretty good haul from here to Galveston, and that’s just one example.”
Congressman Olson said about a floral delivery person that “she’s over in Rosenberg/Richmond,” and used to make all the deliveries at once “and she can’t do that anymore because she’s burning too much fuel” in her own car.
“We have the solutions here if we just step forward and develop them.” Endorsing the Keystone project that he said would have oil coming from Canada to the Port of Houston, Congressman Olson also said 4,000 American jobs would be created.
When he met with the dozen or so at the gas station for about 45 minutes, his message essentially was about supporting the opening of more domestic resources to stabilize gas prices, creating jobs and reducing reliance on Middle East oil. “We need to tell the government to get out of the way,” and help develop all the fuel resources that are currently available in the U.S., he said.
Olson sits on the House Energy & Commerce Committee and is a member of the House Energy Action Team. Holding the office since 2008, he is running for re-election and faces Republican contender, Barbara Carlson, for Texas’ U.S. Congressional 22nd seat.