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D.C. Digest: Lucas challenges limitations placed on energy companies to combat climate change
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D.C. Digest: Lucas challenges limitations placed on energy companies to combat climate change

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Climate policy: Climate change is real, but the way to address it is not be cutting off investment in traditional energy companies, 3rd District Congressman Frank Lucas wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday by Morning Consult.

Lucas, the senior Republican on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and the longest-serving GOP member of Financial Services, has for some time been the most outspoken member of Oklahoma's congressional delegation on the growing dangers of climate change.

He said, though, the Biden administration is trying to financially strangle those companies through regulation and policy.

"Fossil fuel use isn’t incompatible with emissions reductions," Lucas wrote. "We don’t have to repeat Europe’s mistake and choose between reliable, affordable energy and clean energy.

"My Republican colleagues and I acknowledge that climate change is real, but the way we succeed isn’t by weaponizing financial regulators and shunning the energy companies that are essential to meet our energy needs. If we do that, we are cutting off the industry that is making essential investments in the new technologies necessary to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related risks."

Many climate analysts say preventing the planet from overheating depends on sharply curtailing or eliminating the use of carbon-based fuels over the next few decades, but some say emerging technologies could include carbon capture and some form of greenhouse gas "scrubbing."

Labor omnia vincit: Labor may conquer all things, but the U.S. Department of Labor has a tougher row to hoe — especially when it comes to 1st District Congressman Kevin Hern.

Hern, a member of the House Budget Committee, said earlier this month that he will not vote to fund the Labor Department as long as the Biden administration's pending vaccination mandate on large businesses, which would be enforced through Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is on the books.

That prompted state Democratic Party Chairwoman Alicia Andrews to accuse Hern of "threatening" the health and safety of Oklahoma workers and their families.

"A minority of Oklahomans do not want to take the vaccine against COVID-19," Andrews said in a written statement. "The rest of us care about each other. Hern is more concerned with performing for a loud but small group of individuals that do not share our concern for our neighbors.”

As a practical matter, it is unclear Hern would vote to fund Labor with or without the mandate. A year ago he ultimately voted for the consolidated budget bill that included Labor, but in July, Hern joined every other Republican in voting against the appropriations bill that included the department.

Dots and dashes: Lankford and other Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee raised concerns about what they say is a lack of U.S. focus on Indo-Pacific digital trade agreements, something the Biden administration says it wants but that the Republicans say haven't been aggressively pursued. ... Researchers from the University of Chicago and Stanford's Hoover Institution said in a paper published by the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science said they could find no statistical evidence to support the most common voter fraud claims from the 2020 presidential election, and that many of the claims are based on false information. All five of Oklahoma's U.S. representatives voted against certifying the results of that election, and several Oklahoma candidates for federal office are campaigning on claims of a fraudulent election. ... Lankford blasted China's continued oppression of its Muslim Uyghur (uh-WEE-ger) minority, saying "We cannot continue to allow China to get away with these horrible acts without accountability from the U.S. and the broader international community. No one is better at covering things up than the communist Chinese government."

— Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World

Featured video:

Oct. 14, 2021 video. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says he does not support requiring the COVID-19 vaccine.

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