I’ve Bought Mail!

I received a nice piece of mail this week from Dan Lungren, my representative in Congress. 

It was odd that his missive was addressed to me since among the things my Congressman and I don’t share is party affiliation. 

Indeed, a savvy political operative might suggest that the less I know about Dolph, as we like to call him in the Lucas home, and what he’s doing in our nation’s capitol is probably good for both of us. 

It was a large piece of mail – bigger than a legal pad. Very colorful, too. It could potentially be used as a place mat although we have prettier ones made of fabric that we prefer to use when company is over. 

Upon closer examination, I discover that I have sent this mail to myself. In the lower left-hand corner it says “PUBLIC DOCUMENT OFFICIAL BUSINESS” and beneath that “This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.” 

Above that label, covering about two-thirds of the front of my piece of mail is a section labeled in 36 point type “Congressman DAN LUNGREN Working for Lower Gas prices & Energy Solutions. 

Beneath that headline are four smaller photos and, under each are the following captions: “Increasing Production of American-made Energy, Promoting Renewable Energy Using Innovative Technology, Cutting Red Tape to Expand Supply and Encouraging Efficiency by Offering Tax Incentives.” 

In the upper right hand corner there is a photograph of my representative in Congress, apparently at a gas station and, given the tan suit he’s wearing, probably a gas station in Sacramento during the summer. 

There is a quote from Dan next to the photo: “A self-sustaining energy policy for America requires addressing our long-term needs through clean energy alternatives, while the short-term solutions must include exploration of oil and natural gas on American soil.” 

Along the right-hand side of the piece of mail are three addresses, addresses of town hall meeting,. I learn this after turning my mail over. If I attend the one in Carmichael there is an alternative fuel car and demo at 6:30. So a box on the mail says. 

Dan will be at the town hall meetings, the mail says, which presumably is what qualifies the missive as official business and worthy of my footing its bill. 

Across the top of the back page it says: “CONGRESSMAN DAN LUNGREN Lower Gas Prices & Energy Solutions.” 

Good. I’d be real irritated if Dan wanted to increase gas prices and seek energy failures. 

In a cute touch, there’s a gasoline nozzle stretching across the top of the page, dotting the “L” in Solutions. My compliments to the graphic artist. If I’m going to fork for it, it should at least look sharp. 

It is amusing to learn, from the second side of my piece of mail, that Dan has introduced legislation called the New Options Petroleum Energy Conservation Act of 2007. NOPEC. Get it?  That and the clever graphics are almost worth the price of admission alone. 

NOPEC, I’m told, would “reduce our dependence on foreign oil by providing incentives for greater fuel efficiency in addition to alternate energy sources.” It also would hand over a $1 billion prize to the first automaker that can build a midsize sedan that can go 100 miles on one gallon of gasoline. 

Teensy caveat: The automaker must be incorporated in the United States.  May I suggest, which I think I’m entitled to as the sugar daddy who bankrolled this venture, that the $1 billion be placed in an interest-bearing account for the next couple decades. 

There’s a lot more useful information, too. 

Dan supports “increasing production of American-made energy in an environmentally safe manner” both on-shore and off-shore.  

Knowing Dan, that would be my expectation. Neither he nor any other politician would be likely to inform me, in an official public document or otherwise, that they advocate sucking more oil out of American soil in the most environmentally insensitive way possible.

Dan is working to cut bureaucratic red tape. 

Is there any other kind? 

On a sad note, Dan points out that the last new refinery in the United States was built in 1976 – I was a youth of 17 – and fewer than half the refineries America had in 1981 are still in operation. 

Dan wants to build some new ones. Perhaps in Copperopolis, Fair Oaks and Carmichael where he’s having his three town halls. 

While my letter seems downright chock-a-block with information about energy policy and how Dan’s doing good stuff for me, it says that for more information I can visit http://lungren.house.gov 

I might just do that. I probably paid for it, too. 

Maybe it will tide me over until I receive the next piece of mail I bankroll. 


Filed under: Venting


  1. I’m in Copperopolis and I’m fairly confident there won’t be any designs for a refinery here! I enjoy your blog and writing style and I’ll be sure to check back for more information on this town hall meeting with “Dolph” here.

    Comment by EcoJo — 8.09.2008 @ 12:57 pm

  2. So Dan came to town and it was clear he was pushing for offshore drilling. On Thepinetree.net site, they reported that “is that China now has the rights to drill about 45 miles off of the Florida Coast in International waters.”

    I thought that international waters began 200 miles off our coastlines. Why is it 45miles in this report?

    Lots of crazy “reporting” is going on here.

    The web address for that report is here:


    Comment by EcoJo — 8.14.2008 @ 11:16 am

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