Victims' Rights Caucus

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U.S. Congressman Ted Poe joined eighteen Texas lawmakers to urge the Defense Department to save Ellington Field and leave all of Texas military bases off the list of closures that will come out on Friday. The bi-partisan Texas delegation met with Anthony Principi, Chairman of the Defense Department's Base Realignment and Closure Commission to make the case for preserving the state's bases.

Any potential closure of Ellington Field would constitute a disservice to our nations ability to secure our homeland, Rep. Poe said. I hope that the Defense Department will see the need for realignment and reassign more units to Ellington Field.

Congressman Poe also hand-delivered a letter to Chairman Principi stressing the importance of keeping Ellington open. He noted that the Ports in Jefferson County are an entry point for most of the liquefied natural gas and petrochemicals that fuel the nation.

Twenty percent of oil refined for use in the U.S. comes from the immediate area of Texas 2nd Congressional District, Rep. Poe said. Moreover, the Port of Beaumont is a major transfer point for equipment and cargo from Fort Hood and the surrounding bases in neighboring states. It is an area that needs the immediate protection that Ellington Field offers.

In the meeting with Principi, the delegation stressed homeland security concerns surrounding the petrochemical complexes on the Gulf Coast and the fact that many Texas bases have been shut down in recent rounds of closings.

The Defense Department will give its list of possible closures and changes to Principi and the Commission on Friday. The Commission will spend the next four to five months holding hearings, visiting bases, and meeting with state officials.

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