Guest Post: Boucher Disappoints

The following is an article written by CCAN supporter and Boucher constituent Theresa Burriss. The piece first appeared in the New River Voice.

After watching Congressman Rick Boucher gut the clean energy bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee, Theresa felt compelled to act. After reading an article a couple weeks later written by the heads of Dominion, Duke Energy and American Electric Power, Theresa wrote this important piece.


I recall, sometime during my parochial elementary education, learning about the structure of our federal government and the roles of each branch. Although I was impressed with the administration and judiciary, the legislature held more of an immediate, relevant meaning for me.

Legislators, supposedly, represented their constituents and their constituents’ concerns. They were elected by a direct vote in their district or state to act ethically, create and vote on new bills for the betterment of society, and ultimately serve their constituents. Although I was far too young to vote, I, and my peers, still counted as constituents according to Sister Maria.

Now that I’m well past the minimum voting age, I’m reminded of Sister Maria’s government lessons and the ideals associated with them, especially as I continue to read about my own congressman’s latest actions, which fall far short of those ideals. I’ll begin to enumerate my disappointments with Representative Rick Boucher (D, 9th District) by citing a recent op-ed printed in another media source.

Virginian Leads Sensible Climate Change,” submitted by Tom Farrell, Mike Morris, and Jim Rogers in the June 8, 2009, issue of the Richmond Times-Dispatch should come as no surprise to anyone. As the leading executives of Dominion Resources, American Electric Power, and Duke Energy respectively, these men have much at stake in the current energy debate, especially regarding the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act.

In the op-ed the three executives praise Boucher for his “pivotal role, working with committee Chairman Henry Waxman and other leaders to craft climate change proposals that will enable our nation to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 80 percent by 2050 without causing unnecessary economic harm.”

Let’s take a look at those last three words, “unnecessary economic harm,” as they relate to Boucher, the executives, and their companies.

During the 110th Congressional Session (2007