Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin and other Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce committee now know some of the Democrats they’ll have to work with in the coming two years with Democrats in control of the House. And it’s likely they won’t be friendly to the oil and gas industry.
The House Democratic Steering and Committee revealed the eight it wants named to the Energy and Commerce Committee. They will be among those Democrats attempting to create climate change legislation and energy policy affecting Oklahoma’s energy industry.
The new members — none of whom are freshmen — are Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.), Donald McEachin(D-Va.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and Marc Veasey (D-Texas).
Rep. Diaz-Barragan of California is openly against refineries and oil wells, stating in her own website that her district is one of the most polluted in the nation.
“Unfortunately, this is all too normal in communities of color, which routinely endure immense environmental injustices. It takes immense strength to fight polluted air and water in places where the contamination is profound and the injustices are deep,” she said adding that members of congress must unite to both increase awareness and pursue policy change.
She contends the fossil fuel industry is risking the public health of what she called “frontline” communities and the nation ” we should be focused on transitioning to a clean energy economy by electrifying our transportation system and ramping up our use of renewables. We can’t have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness unless you also have environmental justice.”