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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 do 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.


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.

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.

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.

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. 

July 21, 2008 Weekly Columns
While Americans continue to pay ever increasing prices for gasoline, House and Senate leaders continue to block real solutions and instead appear to have adopted the policy of "pay more - drive less."
May 23, 2008 Weekly Columns
As each day goes by, Americans feel the growing pressure caused by steadily increasing energy prices. Oil is nearing $130 a barrel and gasoline is hovering around $4 per gallon nationally.
May 8, 2008 Weekly Columns
Last week the President urged Congress to pass legislation to help curb the rising costs of food worldwide. For months, Africa, Asia and other parts of the developing world have been experiencing waves of discontent and widespread hunger because of food shortages.
May 1, 2008 Weekly Columns
Earlier this week I spoke with constituents from the Fourth District about a number of national issues that are heavy on the minds of Oklahomans. There is no doubt that two of the most pressing issues are the price of gasoline and its relation to the overall state of the economy.
April 21, 2008 Weekly Columns
Memorial Day and summer vacations are just around the corner for many families. But this year, Oklahomans may find themselves forced to cut down on their drive time to their favorite vacation destinations.
November 19, 2007 Weekly Columns
As the holidays are approaching, Oklahomans are preparing to gather together with their families and friends around warm fires, busy kitchens and TV's dedicated to weekend football.
September 23, 2005 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole was appointed to the Gas Price Task Force yesterday by House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.). This task force will be dedicated to immediate action to ease the widespread fuel supply crisis occurring throughout much of the nation.