dingell and the gas tax

Last week, I wrote to Representative Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to tell him about my little idea as to how we might be able to build public support for a gas tax. I wasn’t expecting a lot. At best, I thought that maybe one of his people would skim it over and give me some little bit of insight as to how ideas such as these generally make their way into legislation. Anyway, I just got Dingell’s response. Here’s how it starts.

Thank you for contacting me concerning the President’s announcement of an increase in troops in Iraq. I appreciate hearing from you…

I’m not pissed – I know the House Dems have their hands full right now — but I am a bit disappointed. I was kind of expecting a form letter, but not one that had absolutely nothing to do with what I’d written to him about. (To Dingell’s credit, at least he responded. I’ve yet to hear anything back from Stabenow, Levin, or Conyers.)

[note: For those of you in Ypsi who don’t already know it, Dingell just opened a new office here. It’s in suite 305 of the Key Bank building at 301 W. Michigan Ave. The phone number is 734-481-1100.]

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted January 18, 2007 at 12:52 am | Permalink


    Dingell did not just open an office in Ypsi, his office has been here since he beat Lynn Rivers. He just moved offices to the Key Bank building. He used to be on South Washington.


    – Steve

  2. old man gordon
    Posted January 18, 2007 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Not to gloat, but I got a special letter from Mr. Dingell which adressed my actual question…His favorite candy is candy corn. I’ll have it framed next to the e-mail from Gov. Granholm’s secretary stating that she “doesn’t have a sweet tooth.”

  3. mark
    Posted January 18, 2007 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the clarification, Steve.

    And, next time, maybe I’ll ask him about candy, OMG.

  4. Jim
    Posted January 18, 2007 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I’ve had the same experience: I’ve written two letters to Dingell, and both replies addressed a different position than the one I expressed in my letters. I would have preferred a generic “thank you for your input” letter than a response showing that Dingell’s staff can’t be bothered to even read constituents’ letters.

  5. ebjorn
    Posted January 18, 2007 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Too bad the subject Dingell’s office addressed erroneously was in a form letter. Would have been so much better had it been something he’d misread in your letter and responded to personally:

    Dear Mr. Maynard,

    Thank you for contacting me about increasing my ass laxative. Over the years I’ve preferred various stool softeners, and Debbie, bless her soul, has introduced me to several bulking agents that have done wonders for my constitution. This past year, as you may know, I suffered a bit of an injury, and while in the hospital I was given Feen-a-Mint, a stimulant lax my doctor prescribed for the difficulty I encountered while making potty post-op. The problem with the Feen, if I may be so candid, is that I became dependent on it, and it decreased sensation in my large intestine. Several times last fall, while stumping for various candidates, I found I made a little dirty in my blue suit.

    So, Mr. Maynard, I take seriously your suggestion for increasing ass laxatives. However, I want my constituents to know that excessive use of laxatives can lead to dependence, which, as you’ve already seen, can be an ugly thing.

    Yours, John Dingell.

  6. egpenet
    Posted January 18, 2007 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Dingell is a car and truck guy … he’s into havy manufacturing and jobs. There are no jobs in alternative fuel research in Michigan. Corn farmers are already selling everything they can for ethanol. In fact, the corn farmers are getting too much for corn … so much, in fact, that soy, flax seed and other organic sources are being looked at as cheaper alternatives to corn.

    The best idea I have heard is a person in Florida who has set up a company to collect liposuction clinical waste for conversion into biodiesel! What a great idea! If you’re not as fat, you don’t need such a big vehicle. And if you drive a smaller vehicle (because you’re not so fat) you save on fuel! Wow! A two-fer! Score another victory for entre[preneurship.

    Who needs Dingell when we’ve got biodiesel made from rendered human fat?

  7. Jim
    Posted January 23, 2007 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    WaPo’s got an interesting article about Pelosi going around Dingell on global warming:

  8. donofri2
    Posted January 26, 2007 at 5:44 pm | Permalink


    First off, thank you for contacting Congressman Dingell to discuss the very important issue of energy and more specifically a gas tax. I would like to apologize that the letter that you received in response to your inquiry did not address your main concern, ways to raise the gas tax. You should however be receiving a more detailed response to your letter, with Mr. Dingell’s position and legislative record on gas tax legislation, in the next few weeks from our Washington, DC office. In general though, Mr. Dingell has been supportive of increasing the tax on gasoline.

    I would also like to draw your attention to another matter which seems to be of interest to you and your readers. As you know, as the Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Mr. Dingell and his committee are charged with crafting legislation pertaining Global Warming an its effects. A memo, recently released by Congressman Dingell, outlines the issues that his committee will address in the coming weeks and months in hearings and in crafting a legislative package. The memo can be found on the committee’s website at: http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_110/110-memo.011707.climate_change.pdf

    If you are looking for more information on the Congressman’s committee work or in his time in Congress you can visit:

    As always, Congressman Dingell wants to hear his constituent’s views/concerns and tries to answer their questions (from climate to confections) as best as possible. I hope you will keep them coming.

    Best Wishes,

    Jeff Donofrio
    District Administrator
    Office of Congressman John D. Dingell

  9. mark
    Posted January 29, 2007 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, Jeff. I appreciate it. And I look forward to hearing more on the subject of the gas tax.

  10. ol' e cross
    Posted January 29, 2007 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    In the hot-off-press issue of SEMscope, a publication of our regional planning agency (the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments), Executive Director Paul Tait makes the point that there has been just one fuel tax increase in Mich. in the last 24 years, and calls for an increase.

    (P.Tait, by the way, is a long time Ypsi resident, despite his exec income that would allow him to reside anywhere in the region he would desire. Obviously, he endorses the fact that Ypsi is the best damn place in SE Mich to call home.)

    And, SEMCOG now has a blog. Comment there on gas tax and someone will listen and digest.

  11. mark
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    You wouldn’t happen to know if that issue of SEMscope is available online, would you, Ol’ E C?

  12. ol' e cross
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Go to http://www.semcog.org. There’s an icon on the homepage with a link to the publication.

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