U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger visited Nouryon Surface Chemistry in Morris on Wednesday, touring the facility and later having a sit-down with facility leadership.
The 16th District Republican congressman from Channahon said he enjoyed the tour and appreciated seeing parts of the district that some people might not always notice.
“It was great. A lot of times you’ll see places like [Nouryon] that are tucked away. It’s important to see all the great work people are doing here,” Kinzinger said. “The other thing that’s really driven home in this is the importance of the chemical industry to our region. There are a lot of people working in this industry. We need to make sure we’re keeping to environmental standards but also embracing this industry.”
Kinzinger used Nouryon as an example of how private enterprises should be empowered to fight climate change rather than using government regulation.
“I’m an advocate for climate solutions,” Kinzinger said, “[The Green New Deal’s] idea is heavy government regulation. All that does is kill business and industry. So yeah, you might help the environment by putting everyone out of a job. I think, and what we’ve seen in numbers, is when the free market is incentivized to reduce, for instance this plant, they invest millions of dollars to reduce pollution output. I think when there’s some government regulation with incentive for the private sector to do it you see the best results without hurting the economy.”
Kinzinger also commented on his call for raising the age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21 in response to shootings in El Paso, Dayton and Chicago. He said most people don’t realize that the age to buy a pistol is already 21. Kinzinger said he believes young people coming out of high school with a grudge or mental issues should not have access to firearms, but that exceptions could be made for hunting programs.
“I believe that age of 21 should match the pistol age. I wish we could lower all of it to 18 and trust every 18-year-old to use these guns responsibly, but we can’t. And unfortunately, I believe this is a solution that will help mitigate the issue. Bottom line, this is really an issue of the heart. Guns were quite available in the [1980s] and we didn’t have this sort of problem,” Kinzinger said.
The congressman also said with roads and bridges crumbling, the federal government needs to invest in infrastructure, but cited partisan gridlock for not getting a bill through.
“The problem right now is neither side is talking to each other. I don’t think Democrats want to give President Trump a win on this issue,” Kinzinger said, “I don’t think we’ll see a bill before the election. I hope we do.”
Kinzinger also said he is not in favor on a ban of former Congress members entering the lobbying industry that has been championed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, stating that such a ban could be unconstitutional. Kinzinger also renewed his call for both sides of the aisle to cool their rhetoric and work together.
“To dismiss someone because of their political views to the point of hate has got to stop,” Kinzinger said.
Kinzinger also visited Route 66 Old School Brewing in Wilmington during his district tour on Wednesday.