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Grassley commends tornado response

By Staff | May 30, 2008

Senator Charles Grassley Thursday commended the response to Sunday’s tornado in Parkersburg, saying that all was being done that could be under the circumstances.

Grassley made his comments in his weekly radio interview with Michael Tidemann of the Estherville Daily News and Darin Svenson of KDEC Radio of Decorah.

Grassley said he toured the tornado area with Governor Chet Culver who had spoken with President Bush about the disaster. “He said he was going to do all he could under the law,” Grassley said of the president’s response.

Grassley said he had contacted federal emergency management Area 7 in Kansas City, Mo., and was informed that the National Guard was moving in to assist.

“As far as I know, the help that can come under law is coming.”

Grassley also addressed the issue of high gas and diesel prices, noting that CEOs from oil companies had appeared before a Senate committee last week. Essentially, the latest energy crisis hinges on “what can we control, what can’t we control,” Grassley said.

Grassley said petroleum costs represent 77 percent of the cost of a gallon of gas and that 15 percent of petroleum assets are controlled by private corporations with the rest controlled by governments around the world.

“The only thing that would be worse than high-priced energy would be no energy at all,” Grassley said.

The senator said he had voted for drilling in Alaska and the Outer Shelf and was a strong proponent for alternative energy as well as tax incentives for building fuel-cell cars.

As for the attack on ethanol as a culprit in the food-versus-fuel debate, Grassley said the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association of America needed a scapegoat to blame for higher prices and that the association had admitted that its motive was profit.

Regarding the Democratic presidential primary, Grassley said the public is learning more about Barack Obama than was known previously but admitted that Republican John McCain faces a tough race. “It’s still going to be an uphill battle for him,” Grassley said.

Grassley said much of the success for Republicans this fall in regaining House and Senate seats will be based on how the McCain campaign fares and how much McCain distances himself from President Bush.