Students meet state treasurer
Richard Mourdock visits ISU to talk about Indiana
Published: Friday, April 25, 2008
Updated: Sunday, September 13, 2009 08:09
After running 26.2 miles in the Boston marathon Monday, Richard Mourdock, Indiana's state treasurer, spoke with students Thursday evening about issues in Indiana.
"I enjoy talking to college students more than anything else," Mourdock said. "I always leave with more energy than I had before I walked in."
At the first "Meet your Government," Mourdock described the economy as well as changes that are taking place in Indiana.
"Indiana has become the motor state," he said. "We've lost a bit of control over our economy.
"However, Indiana is doing pretty well, becoming a willing participant in the global economy."
In Lake County, Ind., a new oil refinery is being built in which oil will be mined from the ground. "For the first time ever, Indiana's going to be at the correct end of the pipeline," he said.
Mourdock said it was a good time for Indiana, which has become "an oasis of opportunity." It is the only state in the Midwest with a balanced budget, he said.
Even though some people question the introduction of the Indiana Toll Road in 2006, Mourdock thinks it was a pretty solid investment.
"For the next ten years we have a highway plan paid for in cash $3.85 billion," he said. "Some question this deal and why we contracted with foreigners. This is where they see safety, liquidity and yield."
The Indiana Toll Road did not cause taxes to rise, and the rates for the I-Pass are frozen, he said.
"The Indiana toll road wasn't well advertised," said Kyle Andrei, a freshman radio, television and film major. Mourdock's elaboration on items such as the Indiana Toll Road, which helped the students understand current issues.
"I had heard a general summary of these things, but he explained it in detail," said Justin Todd, a freshman political science and legal studies major and College Republicans director of photography. "It's good to bring elected officials to campus so students know who they're voting for."
Mourdock serves as the chief investment officer for the state of Indiana, so he decides where to invest the money.
"The value of the U.S. dollar is dropping," Mourdock said. "We've probably never been in as turbulent a time as now. I predict we'll see $200 per barrel of oil in the next 18 months."
With a graduate degree in geology, Mourdock said his studies have convinced him that global warming is not happening.
"I'm scared to death about each of the three candidates and their positions on global climate change," Mourdock said. "Global caps in the last 15 years receded until last year on Mars, but what do we have in common with Mars? Last time I checked, only the sun."
Mourdock explained that humans aren't the cause of global warming and that it's something bigger in the universe, such as the sun.
He also discussed hydrogen fuel cell-driven vehicles, the world's first full-scale coal gasification plant in Knox County, Ind., and the largest wind farm in the U.S. with hypermodern wind turbines in Benton, Ind.
Jonathan Piland, a sophomore open preference major, said it was important to have political figures visit campus.
"It's important that students know about the issues and facts surrounding things like the lease on the toll road," Piland said.