"You've Got to Have an Ace in the Hole"
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
May 2, 2006

One of my many favorite George Strait songs is "Ace in the Hole". It really hits home with me when I think of the costly energy situation we're in right now. Since the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973-1974, it seems that we have been at the mercy of the "market". Some would have us believe we have neither an "ace in the hole" or for that matter, even a card to play!

But just who is the "market" anyway? In its most basic sense, the market is made up of those who supply and those who consume. How we consume is up to us.

Bee County Judge Jimmy Martinez' recently called boycott of Exxon in the wake of reports of Exxon Mobil's in-your-face retirement package of $400,000,000.00 for former CEO Lee Raymond suggests that the Judge believes that consumers should also be in the mix and that they can strike back!

In Bexar County, I have been urging that we diversify our fuels and we inaugurated the first-in-Texas E-85 gas station, open to the public.

It is gratifying to lead Bexar County's departure from 100% fossil fuel dependency by diversifying away from natural gas and using Texas' abundant solar energy. Your jail annex has the State's largest solar hot water heater. It saves about $56,000.00 annually. As the price of natural gas rises our savings will be even higher! This is why I support rebates for the replacement of residential gas water heaters with solar hot water units.

Another huge area with growing potential is the use of solar energy vehicles in parking meter carts, golf carts, security surveillance vehicles as well as energy back-up systems at large institutions. As a taxpayer, how does no gas bill for these vehicles sound to you?

Bexar County supports measures that reduce congestion, dependence on gas and frees up motorists' time by: 1. leading the initiation of the Austin-San Antonio Commuter Rail, which will reduce traffic on I-35 and 281 North; 2. supporting State Highway 130 which will absorb 18-wheeler traffic from I-35; 3. being the number one seller of the VIA Big Pass by subsidizing $15 of every $20 monthly pass for employees; 4. leading the fight to pass the (ATD) Advanced Transportation District to strengthen VIA, the City's streets and local monies to match TXDOT projects in our community; 5. leading the funding fight for VIA at the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) which plans and funds transportation of local projects with federal, state and local monies.

Working together, perhaps we can leave this world with our country being a net energy exporting nation as any first-rate world power should be! The "ace in the hole" is in your and my hands. Let's use it!

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