WOODWARD, Okla. — “As Oklahomans, when we have disagreements, and we do, we usually talk it out. That’s a good role model for the rest of the country.”
U.S. Sen. James Lankford made a stop at the Woodward Chamber of Commerce Monday, where he answered a number of questions about some of the current issues the country is facing.
Lankford addressed one of the most debated issues at the moment, the impending impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
“There were 100 folks in the House that were determined to impeach the president in the beginning of this year,” Lankford said. “Now they’ve got to 200. That 200 number jumped in 72 hours based on Ukraine, when none of them had actually read anything on it.
"Literally the information was not public, either to members of Congress or to any general public. Then they said the president is covering everything up and within 24 hours, he released the transcript of this conversation. It’s purely political.”
Lankford believes that after the two and half years spent on a Russia investigation, the group wishing to impeach the president has switched tactics.
“They’re going to go as fast as they possibly can this time,” Lankford explained. “They said, ‘We’re not going to drag this out for two and a half years. We’re going to see if we can do it in two and a half months.’ They hope to have an impeachment vote before Thanksgiving, at least before Christmas.”
Lankford went on to say that while the House is focusing on impeachment, it will be difficult to pass any other bills.
Another issue Lankford briefly discussed was the decline in oil rigs in the area. According to him, the rig count is 40 percent lower than it was a year ago and the country’s demand for oil and gas isn’t going anywhere.
“Talk to Democrats right now that are running for president, they’re racing on how fast we can do without oil and gas, and trying to make that shift,” Lankford said. “If you look at the math on it and what’s really happening nationwide, you can’t get there without oil and gas. So it’s still (the) base power for us everywhere.”
Lankford pointed out that, while consumers are enjoying the lower prices at the pump, the current oil and gas market is hurting Oklahoma’s economy.
The conversation touched on wind energy and how it has grown over the years to a point where Lankford believes the industry can operate without incentives.
“The wind community, their efficiencies are high enough they don’t need federal subsidies and state subsidies to be able to make it work,” Lankford said. “They can make it work… So I don’t anticipate additional incentives on the federal side to be able to help on wind power.”
Lankford also briefly addressed the complications of the situation in Turkey.
“Turkey’s a complicated mess for us right now, honestly, and we’ve got multiple issues there,” Lankford started. “The latest one is trying to be able to deal with Turkey in their incursions into the Syrian area.”
The complicated situation involves U.S. allies.
“So here’s the challenge,” Lankford explained. “We’re currently pulling out of that Syrian area that the president just announced. We’re going to pull all of our troops out. The Turks are saying they’re going to move right into that area, and they’re going to clear that area of Kurds.”
If the Turks do cross the border, Lankford said that it will be a bloody fight in Northern Syria between the Kurds and the Turks.
“We’re pulling out because Turkey’s a NATO ally, and we’re not going to be in the middle of that fight,” Lankford said. “It will really be a bloody mess if they choose to roll over that border with their tanks.”
Lankford will make several stops in Oklahoma over the week for a number of public events. The senator encouraged everyone to reach out to his office at any time if they had questions or concerns.