Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK02), like most energy-state Congressmen, knows upon which side his bread is buttered. Oklahoma's economy depends heavily on the energy industry, and the industry has always treated the Sooner State well. Many of the recent advances in petroleum and natural gas technology were pioneered by the independent companies who call Oklahoma their home.
"Big Oil" left Oklahoma many, many years ago. Oklahoma is the "independents'" home: Chesapeake and Devon, to be sure, but also privately-held, family businesses and smaller private companies: Kaiser-Francis, Continental Resources, and Samson Resources.
The independents that Dan Boren knows sure don't feel like "Kings of the World". They've had about four or five years of really tall cotton out of the last twenty-five, a quarter-century that has seen total industry employment cut in half. The survivors are where they are because they deserve to be, not because anyone gave them an easy road.
Says Rep. Boren:
"This kind of comment is beyond the pale when thousands of Oklahomans and people from other energy-producing states are losing their jobs due to the recession. It’s the type of rhetoric that only serves to add insult to injury - like he's just trying to pile-on their misery," Boren said. “The energy industry is overwhelmingly made-up of independent producers that drill 90 percent of the wells in the U.S. They are the mom-and-pop outfits that run a handful of wells, the young entrepreneur seeking to expand his operation, or the regional company that employs hundreds or even thousands of people in communities across the nation. And quite frankly, they consider this brand of rancor as a slap in the face and a direct attack on their pride in having helped build this country’s economy and powering its future,” Boren said. “When did this Administration completely divorce itself of the direct correlation between the "industry" itself and the millions of American jobs that it provides? These are small businesses. These are sorely needed, well-paying American jobs.”
Some of the Secretary’s policy reforms would circumvent law approved by Congress, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which passed the U.S. Senate with the support of both Salazar and President Barrack [sic] Obama when they were Senators. Boren’s letter highlighted his concerns that the measures run absolutely contrary to the Administration’s stated energy policy goals of job creation and energy independence. An additional cause of concern for Boren is that the new rules would lead to accelerated job loss in an industry that impacts millions of jobs nationwide at a time when unemployment is at record levels. [emphasis in original]
Thank you, Rep. Boren. Time to change parties?