U.S. Congressman Greg Pence was in Madison Thursday while touring his Sixth Congressional District to gather feedback on energy legislation.
Pence was named to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in January. Since then he has visited all 19 counties in the district seeking feedback about energy, noting that after receiving that information, he is visiting constituents to find out “what’s missing.”
He talked specifically about the Green New Deal and said while “there’s a lot that’s good in theory” there are practical considerations too. He used the Indiana Kentucky Electric Corporation Clifty Creek plant as an example. “If they were to close that plant, what do they replace it with? The output is twice as much per day as all the solar farms in Indiana,” Pence said.
He said it’s important to get out into the district because it has become “tremendously difficult” to interact with constituents who want to see him in Washington D.C. due to both the pandemic and new security measures after the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.
“Nobody can come into the building,” Pence said, adding that he himself is restricted in access. He said he will go to his office and to the floor to vote, but is limited beyond that.
“It’s not as organized,” he said, noting a lot of business is done through videoconferencing on Zoom.
Madison Mayor Bob Courtney was among those who joined Pence for lunch in downtown Madison during the visit. Courtney asked for Pence’s assistance on projects impacting Madison.
“In appropriations season, we go to all the constituents, cities and counties, and ask them what’s important,” Pence said, adding that he can work work toward seeing what funding is available for those projects.
Pence, a native of Columbus, considers his hometown as his favorite community in the district, but there was discussion from Madisonians at the lunch table that Madison should be his second favorite community in the district.
“Every town I go to is my second favorite town,” Pence laughed.