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Bonner holds town meeting

By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing editor
Congressman Jo Bonner (R-Mobile) stopped in Brewton for one of his town hall meetings and was greeted by residents Wednesday afternoon as he briefly discussed why he voted against the energy bill, what purpose the Patriot Act serves and why he voted in favor of Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), among other things.
Mayor Ted Jennings introduced his "good friend" to a crowd of about 30 residents. Bonner last visited Brewton late-March when he was guest speaker for the Brewton Chamber of Commerce. He has been traveling to various cities and speaking at similar "town hall" meetings.
Bonner's brief update on certain bills that recently passed in Congress included the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Bonner voted against it, and told residents that one of the reasons he voted against the energy bill was because he believes "we" are in an energy crisis.
In his weekly column, and in his remarks during the meeting, Bonner said that the energy bill did not include a "prohibition on the use of the open-loop system of reheating LNG in future facilities."
The open-loop system, he said, brought about concerns with certain industries because it was estimated to take out about 1.5 million gallons of seawater, which could ultimately negatively affect the seafood, fishing and tourism industries. The other proposed system was the closed-loop system, which would have cost more money, approximately $30 million a year.
Bonner then explained why he thought CAFTA was beneficial and why he voted in favor of the agreement.
CAFTA, he said, is unlike NAFTA.
CAFTA, has several benefits Bonner said: