Rep. Harry Teague talks about energy, economy in Silver City

July 4, 2009

SILVER CITY – Congressman Harry Teague, D-N.M., got an earful Friday afternoon in Silver City.

Many residents were angry over the state of the economy in Grant County and the loss of jobs at the area mines.

Teague held a “Harry in Your Hometown” meeting at the Red Barn Restaurant Friday afternoon.

One attendee said, “You and your party are talking green energy, and we are going in the toilet over renewable energy.”

Teague defended his stand on green energy, but he told the crowd, “We are going to have to rely on oil, gas and nuclear energy while we develop other forms of energy.”

Another local resident was concerned about the national debt. “Our national debt is high,” he said. “Do you see us balancing the budget in the next four to eight years.”

Teague said he did.

Others were concerned that the local mines may never reopen due to environmental regulations.

“In Brazil and other countries, they (Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold) don’t face these issues,” the resident said. “Why would they reopen here?”

Teague said he feels as the economy does recover, the mines here will reopen just as they have following closures in past years.

Teague talked with the public for about 30 minutes and then met one-on-one with a number of residents to discuss their concerns.

He later told the Sun-News he and others are working to get high-speed Internet service to all residents of New Mexico through the president’s 2009 recovery act.

“They are working to bring it to the entire state,” he said. “I believe we will see it happen.”

He said he feels the most important part of his job right now is to bring jobs to southwestern New Mexico.

“Hopefully, with green energy, like wind and geothermal energy projects, we will be able to create jobs here,” he said.

Teague also made stops Friday in Las Cruces and Deming. He made stops earlier in the week in Roswell and Artesia.

He will be the Grand Marshal in the Fourth of July Parade in Alamogordo today.

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