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Milagros, Retablos and Arte Popular 0 TRADING COMPANY FOLK ART & OTHER TREASURES FROM AROUND THE WORLD 209 CONGRESS AVEAUSTIN 512/479-8377 OPEN DAILY 10-6, FREE PARKING BEHIND THE STORE Pis, continued from page 13 The move is in direct conflict with the Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Army, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Caddo Lake Institute. It is also likely a response to intense lobbying by retired General Vernon Lewis, who has been on a jihad against the people of Uncertain, the Greater Caddo Lake Association, and especially Don Henley and Dwight Shellman of the Caddo Lake Institute ever since he was rebuffed in his efforts to became the titular spokesman for the lake. The so-called economic development is being promoted by Marshall attorney Sam Moseley and Marshall businessman Tommy Whaley, despite plenty of available space at Marshall’s own industrial park near Interstate 20. Moseley contends industrial development can co-exist with the refuge. The Greater Caddo Lake Association, the local Chamber of Commerce, and other lake residents say otherwise. In fact, an industrial park’s presence within the refuge will effectively “undermine the ecotourism investments that have been accelerating since the [wildlife refuge] became a reality,” wrote GCLA President Robby Speight, Jr. in a letter to the Senator. And ecotourism around the lake isn’t chump change. Even without the refuge, Caddo Lake’s ecotourism is the single most important factor in Harrison and Marion counties’ $60 million tourism industry, according to Speight. He also pointed out to Senator Hutchison that the industrial park promoters are “a very small group of individuals with a long history of opposing efforts to protect and conserve Caddo Lake and its wetlands.” Should the Senator continue to side with Marshall interests against the locals, she will not only screw the pooch as far as tourism on the lake goes, but will have awarded by default the bigger prize of water rights to parties who look at Caddo as just another reservoir to exploit, rather than the special place that it is. Caddo supporters wonder whether the Good Senator would site a concrete batch plant near her Turtle Creek residence in Dallas in the name of economic development? Don’t bet the manse on it. SAY IT AIN’T SO, JOE After four years, Congress finally passed an energy bill in late July. In it are $9 billion in taxpayer subsidies for the oil, nuclear, and coal industries, and pork a-plenty for lawmakers. Conspicuously absent is a plan for weaning America off foreign oil and onto sustainable, renewable energy sources. Key to this transition, say environmentalists and alternative energy proponents, is a federal renewable electricity standard, which would require 10 percent of the nation’s electricity to come from solar, wind, biomass, and other renewable energy sources by 2020. Although the Senate has approved such a measure three out of the past four years, including 2005, the House has punted every time thanks, in part, to the work of Texas ton chairs the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, and his close ties to various polluters has earned him the nickname “Smokey Joe.” He has received $1.84 million in political contributions from energy companies since 1997, more than any other House member, according to the Washington Post. “It’s amazing what an enormous negative role Joe Barton has played in killing renewable energy,” said Karen Hadden of the Sustainable Energy and Economled the opposition and in typical fashion he lined up the votes.” In late July, the nonprofit Union of the numbers on the potential economic benefit to Texas from a federal renewable electricity standard using a modified Department of Energy model. The group found that the standards would produce 19,400 new high-skilled jobs, $4.7 billion in consumer savings from reduced electricity and natural gas bills, and billions of dollars in capital investment and income for ranchers and rural landowners. Sounds like a pretty good deal for Texas, right? Barton, however, at a news conference on July 27, called opponents of his energy bill “anti-American” and from “the extreme left, which … wants us to go back to rubbing two sticks together to create a fire.” On the same day, to his credit, he did send a staffer, Ron Wright, to meet with representatives of the UCS and the SEED Coalition. Hadden said that Wright “referred to the fact that other states didn’t have the same potential as Texas and that it may not be fair to them [to pass renewable standards].” Wright confirmed that is one reason Barton opposes renewable energy standards. The energy bill is “a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach,” Wright told the Observer. “Should we do more wind and solar?” he asked. “Absolutely. Can we solve our energy problems with wind and solar? No. There’s only so much government can do in a global situation.” Kate Abend, energy field coordinator for UCS, says she believes the House will eventually warm up to renewables. But Barton is a major obstacle. The chairman recently launched an investigation of a climatology report that echoes what is now scientific consensus for everyone but him: Fossil fuel consumption is warming the planet. “Even if we build a base of support in the House, Barton can prevent action on [renewable standards],” Abend said. “We haven’t been too pleased with his treatment of science lately.” AUGUST 26, 2005 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31