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Washington, D.C. Comes to OK

Filed by Michael Cross in Feature, Local News, News, Politics.
July 13, 2012

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Congressman James Lankford invited members of his House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to a special meeting in Edmond at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Only three members of the 40-member committee came to hear from Oklahoma experts on energy regulation.

About 50 people watched the Oversight and Government Reform committee receive testimony in Constitutional Hall at UCO.

The three members present at the hearing included Lankford, Chairman Darrell Izza of California and Congressman Blake Farenthold of Texas, all Republicans.

They got a chance to hear from officials representing OG&E, Devon, the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, and Triad Energy.

The meeting also included testimony from Corporation Commission Chairman Patrice Douglas and Governor Fallin’s Secretary of Energy Michael Ming.

Ming told the committee that North America could be energy independent in ten years if the US would ease up on regulations.

Something very important to Congressman Lankford.

“You’re talking about $300 billion a year going to foreign nations for just our oil usage, $300 billion a year, so you take a number that large and reinvest that into our economy that’s a huge stimulus into our economy of private dollars.”

For the most part the meeting appeared to be one sided with GOP lawmakers opposed to strict regulations and Oklahoma energy officials who felt the same.

But, Lankford says this is actually the balance to what the committee hears in Washington, DC.

“When you get Washington testimony you get Washington opinions on things. You get EPA officials. You get Bureau of Land Management. You get Department of Interior. You get internal voices speaking to Congress. It’s different when you come out and say ok we hear all the internal voices. Let’s hear people that are outside the Beltway and hear what they say about these same issues.”

The US House Transportation Committee also held a hearing in Oklahoma City recently on the newly created Transportation Bill.

And, Lankford says he’d like to see more opportunities to bring his fellow lawmakers to the Sooner State.


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