The energy industry is one of the state's largest and most powerful constituencies. Wednesday, candidates for Sen. Jim Inhofe's soon to be vacant seat vied for support in front of industry leaders.
Six Republican candidates agreed to take part in the Oklahoma Petroleum Alliance forum, however when it was time to take the stage, only three showed up. Congressman Markwayne Mullen running for the open seat sent a video, explaining he got caught in a Washington committee meeting.
It was preaching to the choir on topics like energy independence and keeping environmental regulation at bay.
“There’s this movement from the left, whether it’s called the green new deal or the alternative energy resources, that they’re taking (oil and gas industry) money to subsidize these failed entities,” Nathan Dahm said.
“Environmentalist are using every single tool if they have to block and stop (pipelines) so what we need to do at the federal level is to say that’s enough, we’re going to pass the law that permits are approved and you guys can go and head and build them,” Luke Holland said.
Former Trump EPA head Scott Pruitt spoke the language of the industry leaders, laying out the need to expand energy infrastructure.
“When I left Washington, we were energy independent as a country,” Pruitt said. “We were exporting energy to the world in 2018. Now the exact opposite is true.”
The lone Democrat in the race, Kendra Horn, was not invited to the event, but afterwards she told News 9 in congress she split with her party on topics like fracking to put Oklahoma industry first.
“I did things including making sure we were tackling an all the above approach opposing things like fracking bans because when we think how we need to have reliable affordable energy we have to balance those needs,” Horn said.
The primary elections are a little over a month away, June 28.