Oklahoma congressmen critical of House Committee chairman



While the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee hails the court order shutting down the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline, two Oklahoma congressmen are critical of his comments.

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, the Democrat from Arizona said the court ruling on Monday as well as the decision by Dominion and Duke Energy to cancel the Atlantic Coast pipeline project proof of the importance and beneficial impact of public scrutiny of the fossil fuel industry.

Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from Tulsa who is a member of the Natural Resources Committee said in an email statement to OK Energy Today, “Democrats are quick to criticize the fossil fuel industry simply because they won’t take the time to understand it. Eliminating fossil fuels does no good to our country or our people.”

Rep. Hern said the nation should be taking advantage of its existing resources instead of relying on other countries for energy sources.

“I believe in and strongly support an all-of-the-above approach to energy, where we utilize the many resources our country has available. The key is in keeping our energy supply domestic. If we end domestic production of oil, those commodities will be produced overseas, raising utility and gas prices for all Americans and increasing our reliance on foreign adversaries.”

Oklahoma Republican Markwayne Mullin who is not on the Natural Resources Committee but sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sided with Hern in comments critical of the chairman.

“Pipelines are one of the safest and most efficient ways to transport American energy and resources across this great country. They also create thousands of jobs and bring economic activity to communities. These liberal judges with a political agenda must be stopped. Their one-sided views are putting our energy independence at risk,” said Rep. Mullin in a statement to OK Energy Today.

Grijalva was a leader of a May 20 joint amicus brief with 36 House and Senate colleagues to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia urging the closure of the Dakota Access Pipeline over failure to consider pollution impacts.

“Think of all the doom and gloom we heard for years about the need to rush these projects through, and all the completely unrealistic job numbers we kept getting shoved down our throats as we asked simple questions about environmental impacts,” Grijalva said today. “A more democratic, inclusive, sustainable energy economy is possible if we follow our laws and listen to the people our decisions impact the most. In the meantime, any company thinking of trying to repeat the playbook these companies used to cut corners and steamroll impacted families is now on notice. The American public is tired of the fossil fuel industry pushing around entire communities and treating public health and environmental quality like something only hippies care about, and that era is coming to an end.”