With Duncan retiring, Burchett talks nation

Speaking in Farragut, Knox mayor advocates coal gasification

With the retirement of U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan from his 2nd Congressional seat after what will be 30 years, the Farragut Republican will bring to an end more than 50 years of Duncan control of that seat.

This July 31 annoucement coincides with Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett’s announcement Saturday, Aug. 5, about his Congressional office-seeking future.

Burchett, a term-limited Republican who at press deadline had not announced whether he will run for Duncan’s now vacant seat or for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Bob Corker, spoke in Farragut last week.

Turning his focus to national and international issues in pursuit of a Congressional seat by Election night in November 2018, Burchett said the United States needs to get serious about researching alternative sources of fuel.

“My opinion is, right now we don’t go to wars for freedom. … We’re in over 15 countries and most people couldn’t even tell you the names of most of them,” said Burchett, featured speaker during ACT For America’s monthly “fourth Thursday” meeting in Don Delfis Pancake House & Restaurant July 27.

To make the United States much less dependent on oil from the Middle East, “I submit to you that the way to do that is to devalue the price of oil. And how do you do that? Drill here and build alternative fuel supplies,” he said.

One alternative “I’ve been preaching is coal gasification,” Burchett said. “I’ve called [Sen.] Lamar Alexander [R-Tenn], I had a sit-down with him. He got out his pencil. I talked to Corker about it. I called “Big” Jim Haslam about it [Pilot Oil founder]. I told Mr. Haslam, I said, ‘Mr. Haslam what do you care as long as you’re pumping [fuel] through your pumps?

“And he laughed and said,

‘You’re right Timmy, you go ahead,’” Burchett added. “… During the Second World War the Germans ran most of their war effort off of coal gasification.”

As for resources to make it happen, “… We’ve got The University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory research. West Virginia has one of the leading coal gasification research institutes in the world,” he said. “It’s not profitable right now because gas is so low.

“Amazingly, every time they get close to a nice turn in the technology, they’ll say [the price of gas] is down to $2.50 [per gallon] and it’s not feasible,” Burchett added.

Politically, coal gasification “would put [President Donald] Trump in good stead with the coal miners, saying, “We’re going to put you guys back to work,” Burchett said.

He also spoke about dealing with this nation’s enemies in general, and U.S. economic ties with China specifically.

About this country’s enemies, “I’m not worried about them,” he said. “… I wonder why in the world do we worry about China and Iran and North Korea.

“… I rail on Walmart all the time. If Walmart was a country it would be the fifth or sixth largest trading partner with Communist China,” he added.

About civil rights violations being ignored in the name of cheap products imported, he said, “The big boys don’t tell you a lot about that over in China because it’s their bread and butter, all this junk we’re buying. We can build it over here.”

About worldwide scorn of “Jews and Christians,” he said, “Nobody seems to be addressing that.”

Overall, “I think we better get our act together in this country or we’re going to loose our country,” he said.