Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford clashes with federal official over energy policy

The Republican lawmaker from Oklahoma was incredulous that Obama administration official would take credit for increased energy production.
by Chris Casteel Modified: May 16, 2013 at 10:45 pm •  Published: May 16, 2013

Rep. James Lankford challenged a key Obama administration official on Thursday over the contention that domestic oil and gas production had benefited from the president's energy policies.

Lankford sounded almost incredulous when Tommy Beaudreau, an acting assistant secretary at the Interior Department, said the administration's policies were responsible for the boom in oil and gas production.

“It almost sounds like you said ‘yes' on that,” Lankford said, referring to Beaudreau's response to a Democratic lawmaker.

“Which policies in particular from the administration have increased the production of oil and gas in the United States?”

Beaudreau replied, “Our broad strategy and broad policies to promote responsible energy development I think are the right ones.”

Beaudreau said he rejected the notion that the Obama administration had worked to impede energy production.

Lankford said that was a different question than whether the administration's policies had actually led to increased production. Many producers, he said, would assert that they have moved their efforts to state and private lands because of obstacles to drilling on federal land.

“To talk about credit or blame I think is beside the point in a lot of respects,” Beaudreau responded. “I think we do support what is happening on the energy front. It's good for the country … and we're going to continue to pursue it.”

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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