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Inslee addresses clean energy and Iraq war at Silverdale meeting

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee -
U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee
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Talk of the war in Iraq and global warming filled the Evergreen Room at the Silverdale Community Center Saturday.

About 50 Kitsap County residents gathered at the Silverdale Community Center Sept. 15 to hear from U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee.

The Democrat began the town hall meeting by discussing the clean energy bills he recently helped steer through Congress.

Inslee co-authored a book about clean energy that is set to be released this month. “Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy” discusses how people can battle global warming and renew America’s declining manufacturing economy.

“I believe humans are too smart to destroy the planet they live on,” Inslee said.

Inslee also promoted his “Apollo Energy Project.” The project includes a wide-ranging effort to wean the United States off foreign oil, create high-tech jobs and reduce global warming.

Inslee told the crowd about new studies, explaining that rapidly melting Arctic ice is “leaving a whole ecosystem gone.” The rapidly melting ice is related to ocean temperature shifts and the possible extinction of plant species and polar bears.

“The rate of extinction now is 100 times more rapid than any other time in the globe’s history,” Inslee said.

Although environmental concerns were on the forefront, many in attendance Saturday expressed concern about the war in Iraq.

“This is an open wound in our country,” Inslee said.

Inslee said the current administration has spent “trillions of dollars” on the war and believes a new president is needed to end the conflict.

“There is no good solution in Iraq,” he said. “Unfortunately I think it’s going to take some new leadership to get us out of that place.”

Inslee visited Iraq a few years ago and met two Bremerton men at a hospital in Germany. The military men were badly injured and Inslee was highly impressed by their good spirits.

“It was so inspiring to see those young people in such good spirits,” he said. “Anybody who saw that spirit would have been very proud.”

Inslee told the crowd that “the most important thing in the country right now is to get our troops home from Iraq.” He said the 2008 presidential election will play a key role in moving toward a peaceful resolution in Iraq.

During Saturday’s non-partisan meeting, one person in attendance asked the U.S. Representative who he endorsed as the next president of the United States. Inslee cleverly showed his support for Sen. Hilary Clinton.

“This is a non-partisan meeting. When we go out I’ll share her name,” he said.

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