Berry Visits K8 Studios; Sounds Off on Port Security, Bio-Fuels, Bookout

FEBRUARY 24, 2006 - Posted at 3:48 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - In Jonesboro today for the funeral of his personal friend, state Senator Jerry Bookout, First District Congressman Marion Berry this afternoon visited the K8 Studios and sat down with K8 News Assignment Manager Randy Myers for a discussion on several issues, including national port security, bio-fuels, and Bookout's death.


On the matter of bio-fuels, the farmer from Gillette says it is not only smart, but necessary for the U.S. to implement a bio-fuels program.  Berry said bio-fuels can not only make the country less dependant on foreign oil, but also will improve global warming's harmful effects on the atmosphere.

He advocates individual states implementing their own bio-fuels programs if the federal government fails to implement a plan soon, explaining that such a program in Minnesota not only stimulates that state's economy, but also has had a positive consumer effect on the price of traditional fuels such as gasoline.  "In Minnesota, it's cheaper than most other places, and their farmers that participate in bio-fuels production reap about thirty cents per bushel benefit on their crops that they turn into fuel."

Berry says he's aware of some farmers in the First District that are now taking it on their own shoulders to get a bio-fuels program kick-started in Arkansas.


The Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says an explanation of a White House deal involving the proposed Arab takeover of key U.S. port operations is insufficient.  New York Republican Peter King says the matter should be formally investigated, and it's an issue that has infuriated both sides of the political aisle.

Berry says too many high-ranking Bush administration officials are now trying to cover their political backsides.  "I think that this is a clarion call for us to wake up and...whose running the government right now?  We've got the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of the Treasury, all three now saying they didn't know anything about it until it was on the news.  That's just unacceptable."


The First District Democrat said northeast Arkansas faces an uphill battle in trying to fill the shoes left by the death of state Senator Jerry Bookout.  "'ll be very difficult.  Senator Bookout was unique.  He was a really wonderful, classy, effective and generous man.  Everyone that worked with him trusted him and always considered that it was a pleasure to be involved with him.  He always had northeast Arkansas at heart."