The governor's secretary of commerce, Dave Lopez, will represent the governor's office Thursday when the president goes to the Cushing area to make his comments, said Fallin's communications director, Alex Weintz. The governor's energy secretary, Mike Ming, is out of town on a business trip, he said.
Obama is to talk at a storage yard holding pipes that will be used for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline connecting Cushing to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. He has said recently he supports that segment of the pipeline. His administration in January rejected the portion of the pipeline that would carry crude from Alberta, Canada, and Montana and North Dakota to Cushing because a route through Nebraska had not been determined.
on family vacation
The governor's office did not receive official word from the White House that the president was coming to Oklahoma until Sunday night Weintz said.
The governor's office first heard about the president's visit from news reports Friday afternoon, he said. By then, the governor, her husband and some of their children were on a commercial flight headed to Puerto Rico for a family vacation, he said. The governor is expected to return Thursday.
Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb had served as acting governor until Tuesday, when he left about noon for Washington, D.C., to attend a meeting that begins Wednesday. Lamb is treasurer of the organization.
“What's ironic about the whole situation is he's actually going to be meeting with Vice President (Joe) Biden ... while the president's here,” said Ashley Kehl, Lamb's spokeswoman.