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DC Notes: Oklahoma Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn have written new books

Inhofe and Coburn tackle their signature issues in new books; Rep. Frank Lucas kicks off field hearings for a new farm bill; Rep. James Lankford honors Oklahoma City native Ralph Ellison
by Chris Casteel Published: March 4, 2012

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

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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