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Bartlett talks issues during local visit

June 12, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Pursuing a ninth term in Congress, U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett on Monday said the world will run out of oil at its current pace of consumption.

Eighty-five percent of the world's energy is from fossil fuels, which will be used up in approximately 150 years, said Bartlett, R-6th.

The problem is acute for the United States, which has 5 percent of the world's population but is responsible for 25 percent of all oil consumption, he said at a Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

In front of a lunch crowd of about 40 people at the Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway, Bartlett focused on energy facts and trends, but also touched on the war in Iraq, stem cells and immigration.


Bartlett said he preferred a war in Iraq under the "cover" of a United Nations resolution, which didn't happen.

Since then, he said, he has suggested to President Bush that he think about acknowledging that the mission in Iraq might not be achievable.

"You cannot impose democracy at the point of a gun," he said.

Bartlett said he supports Bush's expected veto of a stem-cell research bill that sacrifices human embryos. Instead, Bartlett has introduced what he calls an "ethical" stem-cell bill that won't destroy embryos.

In the ongoing debate about immigration, Bartlett said he opposes giving amnesty to illegal immigrants, which he described as a "reward" for unlawful behavior.

He also said he's against making it a felony for businesses to employ illegal immigrants.

In response to a question from the Chamber, Bartlett said Washington County will benefit from development growth that Frederick and Montgomery counties are trying to shut down.

During the question-and-answer period, he also denounced the federal government's "intrusion" in local education issues and said the county doesn't need to hire someone to fight for more transportation funding.

"I think you elected a pretty good lobbyist," he said.

Bartlett, who turned 81 last week, has filed to run for re-election next year.

In 1992, The Herald-Mail reported that Bartlett opposed term limits during a candidates' forum, but later changed his mind, saying term limits might be the only effective way to change the makeup of the House of Representatives.

During an interview after Monday's luncheon, Bartlett said that while he voted for term-limit bills, he now believes, "The longer you're there, the more effective you are."

"The people who really need to be term-limited are (congressional) staffers," who have the most detailed knowledge of complex bills that can be hundreds of pages long, he said.

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