Senators Inhofe, Coburn write books about issues
Both of Oklahoma's U.S. senators have written books about their signature issues — global warming for Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, and the nation's fiscal problems for Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee.
Inhofe's book, “The Great Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” was released Feb. 28 and chronicles his battle with environmentalists, politicians, the media and others over his contention that man-made global warming isn't real.
The book was number 432 on Amazon's chart Friday afternoon.
Coburn's book, “The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting America,” will be released April 17 and feature Coburn's warnings about the nation's fiscal future and his proposed solutions. Coburn last year released a detailed plan to reduce projected spending by $9 trillion over the next decade.
Lucas to begin farm bill hearings across nation
Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, announced that his panel will begin holding hearings across the country as it develops the next long-term farm bill.
Lucas said the committee will head first to upstate New York on Friday, while March and April hearings are scheduled in Illinois, Arkansas and Kansas to hear from producers about how federal farm policy should be structured in a much more austere era.
“Field hearings represent one of the best parts of writing the farm bill because it gives us a chance to see the countryside and visit with folks who are directly impacted by our policy decisions in Washington,” Lucas said.
“Agricultural policy affects every American; ensuring that our farmers and ranchers have the necessary tools they need to continue to produce an affordable and stable food supply is as important to our country as national defense. It's critical to all of us that we get it right.”
Cole's water bill advances
A House committee approved legislation last week that would allow water to be acquired from Oklahoma City's supply from the Atoka Reservoir and stored at Lake Thunderbird to augment the water supply for Norman, Del City and Midwest City.
Congressional approval is needed because Lake Thunderbird is operated under contract with the federal government.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, said the legislation should be cleared by both houses of Congress soon and signed into law.
“We're now one step closer to ensuring central Oklahoma's water needs are met,” Cole said.
“The Lake Thunderbird Efficient Use Act would supply much-needed water at no added cost to taxpayers.
“Solving the water shortage is vital to the area's continued economic growth … The further deterioration in lake conditions since this legislation was introduced highlights the need for action.”
Lankford attends Ralph Ellison celebration
Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, attended a Library of Congress celebration Thursday to mark the 98th birthday of Oklahoma City native and acclaimed author Ralph Ellison.
Ellison, who was born in 1914 and died in 1994, wrote “Invisible Man.” Published in 1952, “Invisible Man” won the National Book Award for its groundbreaking insight into the black experience and perspective.
Lankford said the celebration, which featured readings from the book, was “a fitting tribute indeed for an Oklahoman who had a profound impact on the civil rights movement.
“‘Invisible Man' is one of the defining works of our nation's struggle with race, civil rights and the pursuit of equality and freedom,” Lankford said.
“His remarkable and influential writings take a vivid look into the life of African Americans during one of the darkest periods of our history and build hope for a greater nation.”
BY CHRIS CASTEEL, Washington Bureau