U.S. Congressman Ted Poe, in his second term as the United States Representative for Southeast Texas’ 2nd Congressional District, was greeted with enthusiasm as guest speaker at the Humble Area Chamber’s July luncheon which was held at the Kingwood Country Club July 18. Gay Nord, chair of the Humble Chamber and chief executive officer of Kingwood Medical Center, acted as the master of ceremonies for the luncheon, which was sponsored this month by Green Oak Diagnostics. Danny Smith of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented Poe with the prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Award for his support of pro-growth legislation. Smith said the U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest organization with three million businesses represented. “Congressman Poe was there for all of us, so on behalf of the U.S. Chamber, I am honored to present Congressman Poe with the Spirit of Enterprise Award and thank him for supporting the business community,” Smith said. After an introduction by Nord, Poe addressed the audience saying that it’s great to be back in Texas and it’s good to see normal people.  He said, “I do not live in Washington; I live in Texas – I commute.”  “This is an election year and every election is the most important election,” said Poe. He said he wanted to address two concerns which are national and also local concerns. He urged everyone to remember to vote, not only in national elections, but also in local elections. Texas is one of the only states that elect their entire judicial body. Poe said he serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and spoke about the situation in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. He said he has been to Iraq a few times and will be going to Afghanistan in August. He said it’s important that members of Congress go to Iraq and see how it is for themselves. “It really is different than what you see on the national news,” said Poe. “We’ve lost 26 young men and women from our congressional district area, some from the Kingwood area, and we have posted their pictures in our congressional offices and on our Web site. We can’t say enough good things about them.” Concerning gasoline, Poe said, “There are many factors on why the gasoline prices continue to rise. One is that the value of the dollar continues to fall. When the value of the dollar goes down it costs more to buy a barrel of oil overseas.”  He said oil companies in the U.S., contrary to what people are saying, do not control the price of crude oil. “OPEC sets the price for the world’s crude,” said Poe. Poe stated that we need to take care of ourselves. “I’m one who believes we could do that and we should. We need to drill off our gulf coasts. We drill off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. But we don’t drill anywhere else.” Poe said we need to drill off the coasts of Florida and California. Congressman Poe recently filed the American Energy Independence through Offshore Drilling Act to achieve great national energy independence by terminating the current moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities for any area of the Outer Continental Shelf. Poe’s Drill Now Act goes one step further by allowing individual states the option of drilling off their shores while sharing in the revenues generated by the expanded exploration. “I enjoy representing all of you in Congress. I don’t want you to think it’s all gloom and despair. It’s not. We’ve got everybody in the world trying to get here – and trying to get to Texas. Whatever you say about our country, it’s still the hope; it is still the light that’s on the hill that gives people throughout the world the hope - the hope of freedom. Thank you for the honor to be here,” said Poe. Photo: Congressman Ted Poe addresses constituents at the Humble Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon July 18. Photo by Trilla Cook

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