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As a progressive liberal, stuck in the heart of Red Utah, I frequently take the opportunity to email my congress person. In fact, I email him so often that his office sent me an email letting me know that I was one of his most prolific emailing constituents. His office does respond to my emails on a regular basis, which I appreciate. I usually take it in stride that he will have the exact opposite opinion on the majority of the issues that I contact him about. However, I was so shocked that his reply to my email about extending unemployment benefits, suggested that more jobs could be created by "expanding access to oil and gas reserves in this country", that I had to reply. I have posted both emails below.

From: "Representative Jason Chaffetz"

Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 4:57:44 PM
Subject: Responding To Your Message

May 21, 2014

Dear Mrs. Hunt,

Thank you for writing to share with me your thoughts and concerns about the proposed extension of unemployment benefits.  While I cannot consider supporting an extension that is not paid for with other budget cuts, I will carefully review and consider forthcoming proposals that do not rely on borrowing to cover their costs.

The best solution to unemployment is a robust economy.  The American Legislative Exchange Council recently released its 2014 analysis of state economic competitiveness.  Their findings indicate that the states with the lowest taxes and the lowest spending have the brightest economic outlooks and performance.  Utah ranked first on their list for economic outlook and second in performance because we keep taxes low and we keep our spending in check.  Our federal government continues to tax too much and spend too much, which is hurting job creation across the board.  Part of my commitment to represent Utah to Washington is a commitment to support policies in Washington that we have seen working in Utah.

One of the fastest ways to generate additional American jobs is through the development of energy resources.  Increased access to America's oil and gas resources alone could create as many as 1 million new high paying jobs over the next 10 years – with plenty of those coming to Utah.  In addition to creating more jobs, increased energy production would allow us to export oil and gas, which would help stabilize geopolitical conflict between Europe and Russia.  Exports are one of the most effective ways to both create jobs and create prosperity.

I am committed to supporting policies that strengthen our economy in the long-term and stabilize our fiscal path. I appreciate your willingness to express your concerns about the impact of our sluggish economy on individual Americans.

You can follow my work by signing up for my e-updates by visiting or by following me on Twitter @JasonInTheHouse.


                                                                             Jason Chaffetz
                                                                             Member of Congress  

Dear Mr. Chaffetz,

I appreciate that your office responds to my e-mails. However, I now feel the need to respond to your response on the extension of unemployment benefits. Your suggestion that the expansion of access to oil and gas resources, is the answer to creating more jobs, is ludicrous. You seem to be unaware of the issue of climate change. This is an example of the tendency of congress to focus on short-term issues and ignore the long-term problems. What we need is the expansion of alternative energy jobs, not more jobs that are known to contribute to climate change. Your attitude seems to be 'forget our grandchildren and their grandchildren, they can fend for themselves! As long as we can put more money in the pockets of Big Gas and Big Oil let's do it. Who cares if the result is drought, and extreme heat in Utah. Let the people drink oil, they don't need water!'

I am shocked at your willingness to ignore the scientific community and the recent national and international reports on the certainty of human-created climate change. We need leaders who can turn down the special interest money that is more than willing to buy them, and actually think about the future of human civilization. Some how we need to find the political will to confront our oil, coal and gas addictions. We must eliminate all tax subsidies for these industries and agree to new taxes on their use. These new revenues must be used to expand alternative energy and create alternative energy jobs.

You must try to overcome the (R) that is stamped on your brain and learn to think for yourself. It is becoming more and more obvious that term limits on all politicians, and public funding of elections, is the only way to get politicians with any fortitude and independence. We also must close the revolving door of jobs between industry and politics, money corrupts. Your reply only makes that even more obvious. It's apparent that you are counting on employment in the dirty carbon industry after your 30+ year career in politics. Money from special interests and wealthy people will sound the death knell for our democracy and republic.

Of course, I don't want you to take my word for any of this. I have included links to informative articles that corroborate my statements. Perhaps you can have your staff read them. Thank you for your time and have a nice day.


Leah Hunt

Originally posted to trappedinutah on Sat May 24, 2014 at 09:05 PM PDT.

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