In case you missed it, there was a rally at the Verizon Wireless Theater in Houston on Tuesday In the first event of more than a dozen that are planned throughout the country, 3,500 people gathered at the rally that targets the climate change bill that will go before the Senate as early as next month. The Houston event was promoted largely by the American Petroleum Institute. According to reports, several companies, including Woodlands-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp., bused employees to the event, while other companies encouraged their employees to attend. Tom Fowler, an editor at the “Houston Chronicle” covered the event. The following is taken from Fowler’s article. He opens his story with a statement made by National Black Chamber of Commerce President Harry Alford: “The Senate should stand up and tear up this plan,” he said, referring to the bill as “1,100 pages of junk.” Drayton McLane, owner of the Houston Astros and chairman of the McLane Group, which operates food distribution enterprises and military services, was the keynote speaker. Bill Bailey, known as the announcer at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, was the master of ceremonies. McLane said low-cost fuel helped build the American economy, noting that improvements to production and distribution have lowered the share of household budgets that go into food. “We need to preserve this way of life,” McLane said. Bailey warned that if the bill pushed gasoline prices up, it could force communities to make cuts in police and fire protection. Alford argued it would endanger jobs. Perry Courville, an employee of oil field services giant Halliburton Co., said he was against the bill long before the rally, but that the strong turnout was reaffirming. John Torgersen, an employee of ConocoPhillips, said he generally doesn’t get involved in politics but that the more he learned about the bill, the more he felt that it would affect his work. “I was feeling like someone drew a little circle around me with the bill and said, Let’s go after this guy over here.’” There was opposition to the rally, according to Fowler’s report, but little of it reached the floor or the discussion. The event, he said, was not a debate. It was a one-sided rejection of the energy bill. He quoted Matthew Tejada, executive director of the Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention, who summarized the message of the event as, “Stall, block, delay, and don’t change. “It’s a knee-jerk rejection that panders to people’s most common fears of losing jobs and costing more money,” Tejada said. “What’s happened in the past with new laws is we adjust, develop new technologies, absorb and lower the costs, and then move on.” According to Tejada, the rally’s message, “will serve neither the future of this city nor the future of this country very well.” Click here to view the entire article.