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Letter from US Senator Coburn of Oklahoma

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  • Letter from US Senator Coburn of Oklahoma

    I thought I would share this with everyone and get comments/feedback. If you don't know him. Senator Coburn can be a little radical at times and yes, he is an M.D. Moderators, please move if you see fit.

    Thank you for your email regarding natural gas and, specifically, S. 3281, the Drive American on Natural Gas Act of 2008. I believe Oklahoma will play a vital role in our economy's transition to sustainable, alternative sources of energy. Natural gas has the potential to be a leading alternative fuel, and as one of the nation's top natural gas producers, Oklahoma stands ready to lead.

    I appreciate your support for S. 3281. I strongly support Senator Inhofe's bill and will urge my colleagues in the Senate to do the same. Among other things, this bill will create a conversion demonstration program so each state can streamline engine conversion procedures. This will ensure that the process is quicker and cheaper. It will also qualify bi-fuel vehicles to receive the same benefits of ethanol under the Renewable Fuels Standard, and I will look for an opportunity to pass Senator Inhofe's bill.

    Using natural gas makes sense from economic, security and environmental standpoints. However, I do believe that any new legislation that includes tax credits must be paid for so that we do not increase our staggering national debt. It is my firm belief that any bill that increases costs to the federal government must be met with spending reductions in lower priorities elsewhere. In order to protect our future generations from the burdens of Congress' spending habits, we must make the hard choices today, and find a way to pay for priorities in our budget.

    In addition, while I do believe we must pursue the development of natural gas, I believe America's energy crisis calls for a comprehensive energy solution that will include increased domestic oil production, increased refining capabilities and increases in nuclear energy. I will continue to be an outspoken leader in the Senate and remain relentless in my pursuit to provide a sensible energy policy which allows for the production of our domestic energy resources.

    In addition, I certainly agree natural gas is a cleaner, more efficient way to fuel cars and has great potential in the free market. However, there are barriers to its development. Like most federal regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency's rules for converting engines to burn natural gas are expensive, cumbersome and reduce consumer demand for clean fuel conversions. I believe every viable alternative fuel option should be available to consumers so they can be the ones to choose which product is the most efficient and cost effective. Those products that respond to the needs and desires of the consumer will be rewarded; those products that do not will fail. This is what has made our economy so strong and resilient and fostered a strong spirit of enterprise and innovation. Consumers will only have this option, however, if unnecessary federal regulations and bureaucratic delay are removed, and I will continue the uphill battle to roll them back

    Furthermore, you specifically mentioned the 2009 Honda Civic GX. This make and model is currently listed under Qualified Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicles (QAFMV) at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and it qualifies for $4,000 tax credit. However, you mentioned the possibility of reduced tax credits due to the alternative minimum tax (AMT). According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), individuals are not eligible for the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit if the amount of the credit exceeds their personal tax liabilities. This standard is applied to individuals on a gradual scale according to personal income and tax liabilities.

    Finally, I believe the IRS is the product of an overly bureaucratic and complicated tax code, and our tax code reflects the improper authority politicians have delegated to the federal government. I believe our national government, including the IRS, is cumbersomely intervening into the lives of individuals and the proceedings of the states.

    Specifically, the AMT is proof positive that our tax system is in desperate need of reform. Its complexity only increases the costs of compliance with an already burdensome tax code. This complexity favors wealthy taxpayers who can hire accountants and advisers and punishes those families who may not have the means to hire a tax professional. I will work hard to ensure any AMT reform or repeal does not come at the further expense of the tax payers.

    Thank you again for contacting me on this topic. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

    Tom A. Coburn, M.D.
    United States Senator
    '12 Metallic Civic NG w/Navi
    '09 White Civic GX
    '06 White Bifuel Ridgeline
    FMQ 2-36

  • #2
    Great letter!

    Wow, I am impressed that you got such a detailed response which obviously shows he (or a staffer?) read your original letter and responded to each main topic. Well done.


    • #3
      Re: Letter from US Senator Coburn of Oklahoma

      I like this guy! Maybe he'll move to CA. Best response I've ever seen come out of a politicians office. In your next letter invite him to the group.
      By the way... should have been posted in the lounge.


      • #4
        Re: Letter from US Senator Coburn of Oklahoma

        So why isn't he running for president he believes the states should have more say in what they do and the federal is over bearing. He's got my vote!


        • #5
          Re: Letter from US Senator Coburn of Oklahoma

          Just reading your thoughts on Senator Coburn and had to respond. I am not a member of the Republican party, but this is definitely a man I would support for President. He recently signed on in support of a bill to halt Congress' pay if they don't come to an agreement on this budget crisis. The man just tells it like it is and doesn't have motives that advance his own bank account. I am definitely an Okie that is proud of Senator Coburn and what he stands for and how he represents us in Washington.


          • #6
            Re: Letter from US Senator Coburn of Oklahoma

            In retrospect now 4 yrs later, guess Sen Coburn deserves just a BIT of atta boy in that Oklahoma has done some tremendous things for CNG movement. However, those efforts are Without any Federal help that the OP had written to Coburn in the first place.

            Instead, OK has done it on it's own under leadership of Governor Mary Fallin who spearheaded 22 state movement recently to purchase CNG vehicles for state fleets. After listening to Gov Mary Fallin speak at Tulsa CNG Summint this year, I'd vote for her long before Coburn. She really understands CNG and it's tremendous business and job benefits to OK, rather than the Coburn party-line political speak letter posted above.