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Terry asks for sixth term

OMAHA, Neb. -- Rep. Lee Terry said he went to Washington, D.C., planning to be the tax guy, but he has become the energy guy.

Terry said most people who call his office want the same thing.

"Gas prices lowered," the congressman said.

Terry, who is campaigning to keep his job, said he wants the same thing and is trying to make it happen. He said the supply of fuel has to be increased.

"The only way to bring gas prices down in the immediate is to open up some of the areas for drilling, because we can start drilling relatively soon if we had the policy in place to allow it," Terry said.

Terry said the United States' reliance on foreign oil is a bigger problem. As a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Terry said he wants America to be energy independent. He said he has pushed for research into and production of different kinds of biofuels.

"In the next year or so, you're going to see 13 pilot plants started up for cellulosic energy, so those are things that I've done in the past that we're seeing the fruition now," Terry said.

Terry said that if there's any way changes could really be made in the current energy situation, the country would have to be motivated, not unlike when President John f. Kennedy said the U.S. would put a man on the moon and then did. Terry said that energy is the cornerstone of national security.

"If we can become free of the OPEC oil, instead of them messing with us, and forcing us to have to stabilize a region, for example, we can just isolate them," Terry said.

To stabilize the region, Terry said he supports the war in Iraq and always has. "We can't really get too hung up on what mistakes were made early on, but some were, there's no doubt," he said. Terry said he supports a plan to keep U.S. troops overseas until Iraq comes up with a good plan to make and keep the peace.

"I'd love to start bringing people home as soon as possible. You just can't risk our national security by doing it without their strategic plan," he said. He said creating a timeframe for withdrawal is difficult. He said his visit to Iraq showed him that progress is being made both militarily and politically.

"I didn't see progress a year ago," Terry said. "So, I'm more hopeful that we will be in a place to start returning our people probably in a good six months."

Terry was first elected to Congress 10 years ago. After an election night scare from Democrat Jim Esch in 2006, Terry said he's putting more effort in his campaign for a sixth term. Why run again?

"Because, frankly, you're just getting to the point where you're effective out there," Terry said.

Terry is opposed in the Republican primary by Steven Laird of Omaha.

KETV NewsWatch 7's requests for an interview with Laird have gone unanswered so far. According to Laird's Web site, he advocates more resources for troops, tax cuts and better protection for America's borders.

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