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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Natural Resources

I care deeply for the well-being of our national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands. I believe that our natural resources are among our nation's greatest treasures, and Congress should work to ensure that the environment is preserved for future generations. However, I also believe that our country can and should responsibly use these resources to reduce dependence on foreign sources of energy and strengthen self-sufficiency in terms of the minerals that are essential to our economy and security.

I take protection of our natural resources seriously. Technology exists that allows energy extraction while providing safe habitats for wildlife and their ecosystems. We should take every precaution necessary to ensure contaminates does not harm the environment and maintain programs to manage our resources wisely, while working with landowners to ensure that their property rights are protected.

For Oklahomans, drought and water scarcity is part of our history. Investments in water infrastructure are critical to ensuring the availability and affordability of this critical resource. Doing so will ensure that water resources across the state are managed in a way to meet both our present needs and those of the many generations to come.

The Misguided Green New Deal

Regardless of political points of view, most Americans can agree that good stewardship of the earth and its precious resources is important. And I am always encouraged by the special efforts made by individuals, families and communities to do their part today to ensure a fruitful and beautiful world for generations to come. Certainly, there is an abundance of ideas about how we can take better care of the environment. Unfortunately, some of the latest proposals making headlines are unrealistic.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), America was responsible for 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2014. In order to further reduce emissions, the radical Green New Deal calls for complete elimination of fossil fuels from the nation’s energy portfolio in 10 years or less – an unreasonable mandate that would be detrimental to local and state economies. In Oklahoma, where oil and natural gas production has shaped our economy since shortly before statehood, the impact of such a requirement would indeed be severe.

Most egregious, Democrats in both chambers of Congress rolled out their so-called “Green New Deal,” which is really socialism masking as environmentalism. Not surprisingly, the proposal comes with an astronomical price tag of up to $93 trillion over 10 years – harshly felt by hardworking American taxpayers. While I am always willing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find commonsense solutions for any issue, the Green New Deal is nonsensical, unworkable and simply a departure from reality.

More on Natural Resources

June 5, 2012 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 3263 - Lake Thunderbird Efficient Use Act, a bill he authored to allow Lake Thunderbird to acquire and store water from outside the Bureau of Reclamation system. Any cost associated with this action would be paid for by the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District.  The legislation has also been passed out of committee in the Senate. 

February 29, 2012 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House Committee on Natural Resources favorably reported H.R. 3263, the Lake Thunderbird Efficient Use Act:

October 2, 2009 Press Release

Bill Clarifies Indian Reorganization Act of 1934

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) recently introduced H.R. 3697 a bill that would amend the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA) to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of Interior to take land into trust for Indian tribes. 

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