Oklahoma Congressman Kevin Hern is among those fully supportive of any possible U.S. assistance to the nation’s oil and gas industry in light of the massive plunge in oil prices. Joining him in the effort are Rep. Tom Cole and Sen. James Lankford.
Hern spoke this week with the Department of Energy about the prospect of the government purchasing oil to build up the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
He thinks the move would be good, especially for Oklahoma.
“This geopolitical war over oil dominance is dangerous and could have disastrous effects on the energy industry here in Oklahoma,” said Rep. Hern in a comment made available to OK Energy Today.
“Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans work in or adjacent to the oil and gas industry. The industry generates more than $50 billion annually in our state and has been the single largest contributor to state revenue in recent years.”
Rep. Tom Cole agreed with him and said so in a statement provided to OK Energy Today.
“With spread of the coronavirus raising not only global health concerns but causing unforeseen economic disruption, we must stand with our oil and gas producers and ensure these American job creators have the resources to weather the storm.”
Cole said it is certainly in America’s best interest to take steps that strengthen and support domestic production.
“Whether that involves providing financial assistance to U.S. producers, bolstering our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, punching back with tariffs on Russia and Saudi Arabia or a combination of all of these things, we must side with the domestic energy industry. Thousands of American jobs are at stake,” said Cole.
Hern, the Republican congressman from Tulsa called energy the “lifeblood” of Oklahoma.
“If this war continues between Saudi Arabia and Russia, Oklahomans will be directly and negatively impacted. Right now, our country and our state are taking hits from a battle we’re not in. If it wasn’t clear before, it’s unequivocal now: the United States must become energy-dominant on the world stage.”
Hern said if any help can be offered to the domestic oil production, the U.S. should do it by all means.
U.S. Sen. James Lankford suggested he would support the plan.
“Russia is taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak and its effect on the international energy markets to manipulate prices and quantities to crush North American energy independence. It is time to push back on Russia and its plan to hurt our economy and American energy producers,” said the Senator in a statement issued to OK Energy Today.