Senator Jim Inhofe, a Senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), and Rep John Sullivan (R-Okla.) joined together on Friday in a united front to express outrage at President Obama's decision to shut down Guantanamo Bay, possibly leading to terrorists coming to Oklahoma.
Senator Inhofe: "President Obama's decision to shut down Guantanamo Bay could have a devastating impact on our national security and is simply unacceptable. Through my position on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I will lead the fight in the Senate to prevent these terrorists from coming to my state or any state on American soil. My constituents in Oklahoma deserve to feel safe, and we will not feel safe with some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world - men who would kill thousands for an extremist ideology - on our soil. I will fight this decision, and Oklahomans will not be subject to this type of insecurity. I will work hand and hand with the rest of the Oklahoma delegation, and the other 93 Members of the Senate who in 2007 resolved that detainees housed at Guantanamo should not be released into American society, nor should they be transferred stateside into facilities in American communities and neighborhoods."
Congressman Boren: "I am adamantly opposed to the movement of Guantanamo detainees to any location in Oklahoma. It is absolutely unacceptable to even consider relocating these terrorists to American soil, let alone Oklahoma. With three Members of the Delegation sitting on the Armed Services Committees in both houses of Congress, we will be working diligently to stop any plan that includes relocating detainees to any military facility in Oklahoma."
Congressman Cole: "I will oppose any efforts to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees into our state and other American communities. Moving dangerous terrorists closer to home threatens the safety of our citizens and undermines the security of our military posts. Many of these detainees have committed dangerous acts against Americans and it gravely concerns me that others are considering transporting them into our country. I believe the President made a mistake by announcing the closure of Guantanamo Bay before providing a plan that details what will be done with the detainees."
Congresswoman Fallin: "Oklahomans had a very personal and tragic confrontation with terrorism in 1995 that killed 168 of our friends and neighbors and we frankly do not want our soil polluted by these terrorists. I question the decision of the new administration in announcing the closing of Guantanamo Bay without a viable plan in place, and I will do all I can to make sure that if President Obama persists in this policy that none of the terrorists will be housed in our state, even for one night."
Congressman Sullivan: "The listing of Ft. Sill, Oklahoma as a potential relocation facility for al-Qaeda terrorists is completely unacceptable and represents a direct threat to the safety and security of Oklahoma and our nation. I have long been skeptical about President Obama's calls to close our terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and I will do everything in my power to keep these terrorists who have killed American's out of our communities-period. Since the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, our nation has been focused on keeping the American people safe by taking the fight to the terrorists so we don't have to face them here on our soil -relocating those who mean us harm to American cities is a huge step backwards in the war on terror and a danger to our homeland."
Congressman Lucas: "I am disappointed by President Obama's decision to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. His poor choice has made this country less safe for each and every Oklahoman. I will work closely with the other members of our delegation to ensure that we don't expose our country to another tragedy like September 11th."
Inhofe-Boren-Henry Working Together To Resolve Tar Creek Concern Quickly
Senator Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.), a Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, welcomed news of developments on Friday from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Housing and Urban Development Administration (HUD) working to immediately address the concerns of Governor Henry and Senator Inhofe regarding news that children were moving back into the Tar Creek area.
Senator Inhofe said Friday afternoon, "After expressing my concerns to the federal agencies involved in Tar Creek over the issue of people moving back into the area, I am pleased to see the EPA and HUD quickly coordinating their efforts. Governor Henry, Congressman Boren, and I have long worked to bring relief to the residents in the Tar Creek area and we remain committed towards its final clean up. Just as we have worked to bring state and federal agencies together on this in the past, we will do so again this time."
Congressman Boren said: "I am pleased these federal agencies have investigated this matter, and they are moving toward a resolution as quickly as possible. I am in full agreement with both Governor Henry and Senator Inhofe that children should have never been allowed back into this area. My office stands ready to work with Senator Inhofe, Governor Henry, and federal officials to determine the best possible solution to this issue."
On Thursday, the Tulsa World reported that "Federal funds are being used to move families with children into a Superfund site at the same time the federal government is spending millions of dollars to move families out of harm's way."
Upon learning of this development, Senator Inhofe issued the following statement,
"From my position as Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I have secured millions of dollars and worked with Governor Henry to relocate the residents and clean up Tar Creek, and the finish line is finally in sight. Our primary responsibility all along has been to get these people out of harm's way. For the local housing authority to put them - especially children - back in jeopardy is absolutely outrageous and dangerous. There is absolutely no justification for sacrificing the safety of these children.
"I absolutely agree with the Governor and will be working closely with him to reverse this trend and continue on with the important work at the Tar Creek Superfund Site."
To keep up to date with the latest developments, visit Senator Inhofe's blog at www.inhofe.senate.gov/.
Inhofe Votes to Confirm Clinton as Secretary of State
On Wednesday, Senator Inhofe voted to confirm Sen. Hillary Clinton as the U.S. Secretary of State and issued this statement:
"Today in voting to confirm Senator Clinton as Secretary of State, I voted for someone who is well qualified and someone I know I can work with on a range of issues," Senator Inhofe said. "To be certain, there are many areas where Senator Clinton and I disagree. However, I appreciate her recognition of the need to combat al Qaeda's efforts to seek safe havens in failed states in the Horn of Africa, which is something I have worked to accomplish through my many trips to Africa and my legislation to establish global partnerships. I strongly agree with her support of Israel's right to defend itself. Finally, I appreciate her challenge to Iran to end its nuclear weapons program, and her pledge to work to end Iran's and Syria's dangerous behavior so that they instead become constructive actors in the Middle East. Diplomacy has a crucial role, but I also trust and will ensure that where stronger efforts need to be made, U.S. foreign policy will include the strong arm of military where diplomacy fails. "Furthermore, Senator Clinton has demonstrated a willingness to work across the aisle, as we have worked together on legislation through our positions the Senate Armed Services Committee and Environment and Public Works Committee.
"The bottom line, though, is that Senator Clinton's experience and expertise in foreign relations will serve this country well, and I look forward to working with her in her new role."
March for Life: Inhofe YouTube Video
Watch YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/JimInhofePressOffice
Senator Inhofe spoke out in support of those who gathered in Washington on Thursday for the March for Life rally in a YouTube video this week. Senator Inhofe said in the video clip:
Today, hundreds of thousands of people will take to the streets of Washington, DC for the March for Life, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court in 1973. Thousands more will participate in a virtual march online. To each and every one of you, let me say thank you for your time and efforts.
Thirty-six years ago today the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade to legalize abortion. Since this decision approximately 40 million babies have been victims of abortion. 40 million. Abortion takes the lives of more than one million unborn children each year. The Declaration of Independence, a document that defined the character of this great nation, affirms all people are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Notice that the right to Life is listed first. The right to life is the foundational right fundamental to the strength and vitality of our nation.
As a new Congress begins and a new President enters the Oval Office, this is the time to re-evaluate our nation's priorities and affirm, as our Founding Fathers did before us, that the right to life is undeniable, indisputable, and unequivocal. I as I stand before you today, thousands are demonstrating at the U.S. Supreme Court in today's 36th annual March for Life.
Like you, I am wholeheartedly pro-life. I believe in the value and dignity of all human life - from the unborn to the elderly. I believe that all human beings at all stages of life have the God-given right to life. Not all pregnancies are wanted pregnancies, but all children are wanted children. All children are created by a loving God. Scripture remind us, "For You [God] created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."
To my fellow pro-lifers who are demonstrating today at the U.S. Supreme Court, you are the people who in these challenging times have a message of hope, redemption, and life. With strength and fortitude you have spoken up for those who cannot speak for themselves. You have shown that every child is a blessing, not a punishment; a gift, not a burden.
You have remained firm in your struggle to end abortion while also lending a compassionate hand to the women who face financial and emotional hardships in preparing for the birth of their children. You have faithfully supported women and created hope by showing them that there is a better way than abortion - in every crisis pregnancy center you build, in every women you counsel in abortion alternatives, in every child that is adopted into a loving home.
Adoption holds a special place in my life as, almost 7 years ago, we found a precious baby girl abandoned in a field in Ethiopia. There is an alternative... This little girl could have been aborted in Ethiopia, but she wasn't. My daughter was able to adopt her and bring her home, and our Zegita, or the Z-girl as I call her, has brought happiness and joy to so many lives since. And, as a proud grandfather, I might add that she's a genius.
So, while you spread your message of life across the country, I will join you by spreading the message of life here in the U.S. Senate. Together, it is our duty and responsibility to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and proclaim that all people in all stages of life have their God-given right to life. Let us not grow weary but press forward in our untiring dedication to protect the right to life of the unborn. Let us show the world that we are a country that protects and honors life.
Grace at Work - Inhofe's adopted grandchild: a special place in his heart (Tulsa World)
by: WAYNE GREENE
Editorial WriterSunday, December 21, 200812/21/2008 3:26:28 AM
If you want to see a different side of Jim Inhofe, ask him about Zegita. Zegita is Inhofe's 7-year-old granddaughter.
Inhofe loves all 12 of his grandchildren, but Zegita has a very special story, and it's clear when he speaks of her that there's something more in his relationship with her.
She is his adopted grandchild, his genius grandchild, his African grandchild, a wonder in the way she joined the family and in everything she has achieved since.
In 2001, one of Inhofe's daughters, Molly Rapert, and her husband Jimmy, decided they wanted to adopt a daughter. They had three sons.
Rapert says she speaks openly of her daughter's life because adoption is such an important issue to her. For various reasons, the Raperts decided that an international adoption was the best choice for their family, and Inhofe's years of work on the behalf of Africa led them to consider adopting a child there. And then the politics of the situation occurred to them. Imagine the image of the conservative southern white U.S. senator and his black granddaughter. T
hey called Inhofe to talk about it. "His first words to me were 'This is absolutely the right thing to do,' " Rapert said.
He introduced her to Tekle Selassie, a Christian living in Ethiopia and working to improve conditions there. Not long later, Selassie e-mailed her that he had found a child in a local orphanage that he thought would work for them. They said yes, sight unseen.
At the age of 3 days Zegita had been abandoned in an impoverished Addis Ababa neighborhood. A social worker found her in a dirt alley and took her to a local orphanage, where she was slowly brought back to health with an intravenous feeding tube that went into her scalp. There were 42 children and four beds at the orphanage. The other children were kept in buckets. They got one bottle of milk a day. The healthy children were also given an avocado.
When the Raperts first saw their daughter she was 7 months old. She weighed 11 pounds.
Selassie helped them through the Ethiopian immigration bureaucracy. At a key point, in the office of an Ethiopian immigration official, he was asked if the child would be raised as a Christian. He knew that if he answered yes, it could slow or kill the adoption, but he answered truthfully. The adoption official asked him if he believed in Jesus, and again, he took the risk and said that he did. She looked both ways, opened a drawer, pulled out a Bible and asked if he would pray with her. He did.
Rapert says she sees nothing less than grace at work in the adoption. "God's hand was at work. We see it at every step in the process," she said.
Inhofe visited the Tulsa World editorial board earlier this month, and he talked about what you would expect: the president-elect, the auto bailout, his recent trip to Afghanistan important issues of public policy all.
Then he mentioned Zegita Z girl as he calls her, as he is "Popi" to her and a different aura filled him. He pulled out his BlackBerry and started reading year-old e-mails from Rapert and telling his own Zegita stories. He talks about her standardized test scores. She's reading above the seventh grade level. He tells the story of his family finding her in the Ethiopian orphanage where she slept in a bucket. Do you have time to look at some pictures? Here she is at the National Prayer Breakfast, where her speech was a big hit. She's been invited back again next year. "For real," Inhofe said, grinning and nodding his head with the certainty of a grandpa. "She is a genius."
In the world of politics, Jim Inhofe is as aggressive as any person you'll ever meet. He ardently believes in what he stands for, and won't back down from a fight. Oppose him and you better be ready to rumble.
But, when the topic turns to Zegita, you see a different side.
A trite tale? Sure. Everyone loves their grandchildren, don't they? All grandpas think their little ones are special, geniuses all. But that's a bit of what's special about seeing Inhofe talk about Zegita.
It's in those moments that you realize that the partisan street fighter image is just that, image. Inside, he's really just Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma grandfather.
INHOFE/BOREN RE-INTRODUCE MARGINAL WELL PRODUCTION PRESERVATION AND ENHANCEMENT ACT
Senator Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, this week introduced with Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.), a Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, the Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act. This bipartisan and bicameral bill ensures that the nation's policies recognize and reflect the economic importance of marginal well production. The average marginal well produces less than 2.2 barrels of oil per day.
Inhofe: "A vast majority of Americans support expanding and taking advantage of our domestic resources of oil and natural gas," Senator Inhofe said. "I have been proud to work with Congressman Dan Boren to advance this important effort by reintroducing in the 111th Congress our Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act. This legislation will reduce our dependence on foreign oil by streamlining and clarifying government regulations, prolonging economic feasibility, and enhancing production volumes from marginal wells, a well which produces 15 barrels or less daily. In addition to reducing our dependence on foreign oil, a producing well provides both state and federal taxes, pays royalties to land and mineral owners, and keeps jobs and dollars on American soil and in American pockets. A plugged well provides none of this. In fact, the latest Interstate oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) report demonstrated that plugged and abandoned marginal wells resulted in the loss of $1.77 billion in economic output, $369.2 million in earnings reductions, and 8,223 lost jobs in 2006.
"Marginal wells produced more than 335 million barrels of oil in 2006. That's equivalent to more than 60 percent as much as the United States imports annually from Saudi Arabia or 67 percent as much as the nation imports annually from Venezuela. In my own state of Oklahoma, it is the small independents, basically mom-and-pop operations that produce the majority of oil and natural gas, with 85 percent of Oklahoma's oil coming from marginal wells."
Boren: "I'm proud to join Senator Jim Inhofe in reintroducing the Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act. Even though energy prices have fallen recently, we cannot let that deter us from enacting sound energy policy that increases our domestic energy supply and helps reduce our dependence on foreign energy," Congressman Boren said. "Congress must ensure that we are taking full advantage of every option available to us. This bill achieves these goals by prolonging and enhancing production from marginal wells. Producers who operate marginal wells are smaller, independent operations that infuse our local and state economy with job creation and additional revenue. This legislation ensures that our government's policies recognize the economic importance and energy contribution of marginal well production."
Recent Support for the Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act
Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association: "The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association appreciates the bipartisan leadership of Senator Inhofe and Congressman Boren as they work to make America more energy secure," said OIPA Chairman John Pilkington. "By fixing the marginal well percentage depletion rate at 27.5 percent, eliminating the net income limitation for percentage depletion, allowing the accelerated depreciation of tertiary injectant properties, and providing common-sense regulatory relief, this bill would help independent producers more effectively meet the demands of operating marginal wells and enhance producers' ability to develop new domestic crude oil and natural gas resources."
National Stripper Well Association: "The National Stripper Well Association would like to thank Congressman Boren and Senator Inhofe for sponsoring the Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act," said NSWA Chairman Dewey Bartlett Jr. "America's marginal wells collectively produce half as much oil as America imports from Saudi Arabia each year and are an important part of the domestic energy security equation. We hope Congress will consider this bipartisan bill as part of a comprehensive solution to our nation's energy supply challenges."
Oklahoma Commission on Marginally Producing Oil and Gas Wells: "The State of Oklahoma Commission on Marginally Producing Oil and Gas Wells would like to express its appreciation on behalf of Oklahoma marginal oil and gas well operators to Senator Inhofe and Congressman Boren for their bipartisan leadership as they work to make America less dependent on foreign oil and improve national security," said Marginal Well Commission Executive Director James M. Revard. "At this critical time, this bill will help the independent producer more effectively meet growing market demands while operating in a cost-effective manner. This bill will allow operators to offset the rising cost of operations while making it possible to reinvest in new development of domestic oil and gas."
Independent Petroleum Association of America: "With approximately 20 percent of American oil production and 10 percent of American natural gas production coming from marginal wells, they are America's true strategic petroleum reserve. However, they remain America's most vulnerable production assets faced with the highest operating costs. This legislation is designed to encourage and protect continuing operation these essential American resources," said Barry Russell, President and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Association of Energy Service Companies: Charlie Swift, President of the Association of Energy Service Companies, said, "On behalf of the Association of Energy Service Companies, I would like to extend my support to the Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act introduced by Senator Inhofe and Representative Boren. Marginal wells are a vital resource to our domestic oil and gas industry, and I applaud these Congressmen for recognizing their importance and working to promote their use."
About the Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act:
Increases the Percentage Depletion Rate for Marginal Wells
Similar to depreciation, percentage depletion is an important financial tool for independent producers who operate high cost, low production yield oil and natural gas wells. The Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act would increase the percentage depletion allowance for marginal wells from 15 percent to the historical rate of 27.5 percent exclusive of daily production levels. This provision is not available for integrated major oil companies.
Eliminates Net Income Limitation on Percentage Depletion
The net income limitation on percentage depletion prohibits taxpayer use of percentage depletion when it would exceed the net income from an individual property. Congress has recognized that the net income limitation discourages investment to maintain marginal wells and instead encourages producers to plug wells. Therefore, beginning in 1998, Congress has temporarily suspended the net-income limitation on a recurring basis. The current suspension expired in 2007. The Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act would continue this policy by permanently eliminating the net income limitation. This provision is not available for integrated major oil companies.
Oil and Gas Wells and Pipeline Facilities Technical Amendment
The Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7412(n)(4)(A)) prevents the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from aggregating emissions from exploration and production equipment, pipeline compressors, and pump stations for purposes of the Act's Hazardous Air Pollutants, Section 112. This bill would make clear the intent of Congress to not aggregate emissions from these individual sources, precluding unrealistic and unnecessary regulation of marginal well properties.
National Response System
The Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to define produced water tanks as water treatment facilities to the same extent as are similar facilities in other industrial sectors. It also would provide regulatory relief for small facilities with oil storage capacities of less than 50,000 gallons at which no single tank has a capacity of greater than 21,000 gallons. Since marginal wells provide minimal risk to the environment as compared to larger bulk crude oil storage facilities and refineries that have high throughput and large single tank storage volumes, a more streamlined plan and relief from requirements are needed.
Accelerated Depreciation of Tertiary Injectant Properties
Tertiary injectants are typically fluids or gases injected into crude oil and natural gas reservoirs to stimulate oil and gas flow left behind after primary and secondary pumping and water flooding techniques. Tertiary injectant properties and pipelines are typically classified as 7-year properties for purposes of depreciation. This bill would classify qualified tertiary injectant properties and pipelines as 3-year properties for purposes of depreciation.
The Oklahoman: Marginal Wells Bill Makes Sense (Inhofe/Boren Op/Ed)
Inhofe/Boren Introduce Bi-Partisan "Marginal Well Production Preservation and Enhancement Act"
Inhofe Introduces Beneficial Energy Legislation
This week, Senator Inhofe also re-introduced his legislation to repeal Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and was joined by Senator Coburn as a co-sponsor. Senator Inhofe also introduced legislation to accelerate the phase-in for the domestic manufacturing deduction and allow domestic oil and gas companies to take advantage of this important tax benefit, which is designed to preserve and promote domestic job creation.
"Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 serves to prevent the Department of Defense from purchasing fuel from the Canadian Tar Sands where there is an estimated 180 billion barrels of oil," Senator Inhofe said. "This provision prevents the U.S. Air Force from using alternative fuels, such as coal-to-liquid and natural gas-to-liquid fuels, in its fueling options. Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma is home to a pilot program to fuel B-52 Tankers with natural gas-to-liquid fuels. Repealing this provision allows the government to purchase these fuels and preserver our military's fueling options."
"The Section 199 domestic manufacturing deduction allows firms that produce goods and services and create jobs on our shores to take advantage of a tax deduction for their domestic production activities. This legislation will amend the law regarding the Section 199 deduction to do two things, both of which are important to job creation and domestic energy production. First, the bill will accelerate the phase-in of the deduction for domestic production to the maximum of 9% of domestic production activities for the current year, instead of the scheduled phase-in. Accelerating this phase-in will provide an enhanced tax benefit for firms that expand production and create jobs here in the United States, which is badly needed in the current economic slowdown. Second, the bill will repeal Section 401 of Public Law 110-343, which prevented our nation's oil and gas companies from taking advantage of the Section 199 tax benefit. Greater energy independence does not come from unreasonably penalizing those firms that produce our domestic energy, and this bill would correct this wrongheaded provision by allowing our nation's oil and gas companies to take advantage of the Section 199 deduction just as every other business in the nation can."
Inhofe/Boren/Coburn Introduce Important Tax Legislation for Oklahoma
Senator Inhofe, joined by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) in the Senate and Congressman Dan Boren (D-Okla.) in the House of Representatives, introduced two pieces of tax legislation on Wednesday vital to Oklahoma's economy. Their first bill would eliminate the net income limitation on percentage depletion allowance for marginal wells. Senator Inhofe, along with Senator Coburn, also introduced a second tax bill that would permanently extend accelerated depreciation on Indian Lands, companion legislation to a bill Representatives Dan Boren and John Sullivan (R-Okla.) introduced in the House last week (HR 474). Each year, including late last year, Congress passes a one-year extension of both tax provisions in a tax extender package. Their legislation makes both beneficial tax provisions permanent.
Senator Inhofe: "I have long worked to ensure that each year's tax extenders package includes accelerated depreciation of capital assets on Indian lands and the suspension of the net income limitation for energy produced from marginal oil and natural gas wells to keep these wells economically viable and producing," Senator Inhofe said. "These two provisions have consistently been extended for one-year in previous years and are vital to Oklahoma's economy. I am happy to join Congressman Boren in this important effort to make these pieces of tax extenders legislation permanent. Since these provisions are so vital to economic development and job growth in Oklahoma, it is essential that we work diligently to ensure their continuation in light of the weakening economy."
Congressman Boren: "One of the best ways to stimulate the economy and to grow Main Street is to provide our local, small businesses with direct and sustained tax relief that they can depend on from one year to the next. Successful business owners plan several years in advance and must prepare their business models for any number of issues that can confront our global, national, state, and local economies," Congressman Boren said. "By making these tax incentives permanent, we can give thousands of Oklahoma's small business owners and independent energy producers an important tool they can count on for many years to come. I have worked closely with Senator Inhofe, the entire Oklahoma delegation, and Congressional leadership to ensure these provisions are extended each year. I will continue to fight alongside my Oklahoma colleagues to make sure they are made permanent."
Dr. Coburn: "I am pleased to join my colleagues in reintroducing these important bills. It is my hope that Congress will consider both bills quickly because they will play an important role in growing our economy and creating jobs, which we need now more than ever."
Eliminating Net Income Limitation on Percentage Depletion Allowance
The net income limitation requires tax percentage depletion to be calculated on a property-by-property basis. The typical independent producer can have numerous oil and gas properties, many of which could be marginal properties with high operating costs and low production yields. The producer may not have net income from a particular property, especially marginal properties. When domestic production is most susceptible to being plugged, the net income limitation discourages producers from maintaining marginal well production.
Extension of Accelerated Depreciation on Indian Lands
It provides for special accelerated depreciation for new and used assets acquired after December 1993 on Indian reservations and former Indian reservations in Oklahoma. This depreciation incentive provides an approximately 40 percent shorter recovery period for most commercial property. This accelerated depreciation schedule has been very successful in encouraging capital intensive businesses to locate or expand in Indian Country in Oklahoma and throughout the country. Maintaining this tax benefit is essential to continuing job growth in Oklahoma during the current economic downturn.
Inhofe Successful in Ensuring Key Oklahoma Priorities Included In Tax Bill
Tulsa World: Tax Provisions RenewedJournal Record: Smaller oil, gas producers could receive tax relief
The Oklahoman: Privately owned marginal oil wells pumping out cash for Oklahomans
Senator Inhofe's Record of Support for the Extension of Expiring Tax Relief Important to Oklahoma
In the News...Unbelievable (Tulsa World Editorial)
by: World's Editorial Writers
Saturday, January 24, 2009
1/24/2009 2:57:51 AM
Talk about the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing: We've got a perfect example of that going on in the Tar Creek Superfund site. And this latest outrage is precisely the reason so many people have so little respect for government programs.
After the federal government spent more than $100 million trying to clean up properties in the old lead and zinc mining region, common sense finally prevailed and a voluntary buyout program commenced. The original buyout program, launched by Gov. Brad Henry, was for families with small children, who are most at risk for the developmental damage lead exposure can cause.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe expanded the buyout effort when a new study showed that the cave-in threat from undermining was significant throughout the Ottawa County site.
Altogether, the federal government is expected to spend about $60 million to move families out of the most affected towns of Picher and Cardin. By the end of this year, most residents who want to move away - virtually all residents - will be gone.
Now, it comes to light that while this buyout program is proceeding, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development is using taxpayer funds to move people - including some families with small children - back into this dangerous place. In fact, one relocation official charged that the Picher Housing Authority appears to be moving in new tenants as quickly as the relocation agency is creating vacancies.
Picher Housing Authority Director John Sparkman, defended the agency's actions, saying the government housing program "just can't turn renters away." Which raises the question: Why not? While it's true the units being rented might be safe, no one can reasonably make the argument that the area is completely safe. After all, that's why relocations are occurring.
An obviously outraged governor said he would get with Inhofe to craft a plan for finding suitable housing for the tenants "as quickly as possible."
"This is the kind of thing that rightfully outrages the public and gives government a black eye," Henry said, adding, "we cannot in good conscience allow people to stay there."
By week's end, there was frenetic activity to develop a plan for addressing the Picher public housing problem. The sooner the better; surely there are other possible alternatives that can be opened up fairly quickly.
Just when we think the end is in sight, the unbelievable saga of Tar Creek continues to unfold. You have to wonder what the next chapter might be.
In the News...Inhofe in Enid (Enid News)
Obama earns respect from Sen. Inhofe
By Cindy Allen Managing Editor
President Barack Obama has been in office less than a week, but he's already earned some respect from one of the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., was in Enid Friday to visit Vance Air Force Base and visit with officials here about what he foresees in the political environment for the military. So far, Inhofe thinks Obama has struck the right tone as far as support for the military.
"If you'll look at last Tuesday's inaugural message, there were two strong military messages," Inhofe said. "I think a lot of that he is a very smart person, he knew what he had to do to get elected and he had the far left clearly on his side. Now, he's rising to the occasion of governing. I believe that."
Inhofe said he was im-pressed with the scene in Washington on inauguration day. He said he awoke at 5 a.m. and went out on the mall to walk among the people.
"It was something I haven't seen in my life," he said. "There was a feeling of there's been a renaissance, a transformation, a major change."
Inhofe praised Obama for reaching out to the Republican leadership after the election. After personal conversations with Obama about the military, Inhofe said he feels "comfortable we're going to continue the rebuilding" of the military.
Inhofe said he also believes Obama will be reasonable when it comes to really closing the detention center at Guan-tanamo Bay. He said signing the executive order to close the facility was the political thing to do, but he has room to change his mind.
Inhofe said he also sees some give and take from Obama regarding the environment. Inhofe said he vehemently opposes Obama's pick of Carol Browner as energy czar. Browner headed the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clinton administration. Inhofe said he is concerned she is going to propose major changes that will be costly.
Inhofe said he was happy to hear Obama mention the environment just briefly in his inaugural message.
"(Obama) and I talked, and I said I only ask you one thing consider the economics of anything Carol tries to talk you into," Inhofe said.
Inhofe has been an outspoken critic of science regarding human factors in global warming, and he said he's getting more support from his fellow senators. He said there are some conservative Democrats that also are concerned about any expensive environmental proposals
One area he has concerns with the Obama administration is in spending and the stimulus package. Inhofe was against the original $750 billion bailout package, and he was against allowing all the decisions on those monies to be left in the hands of the administration with no accountability.
"Obama is under a lot of pressure to do a stimulus program," Inhofe said. "We're looking at trillions, not billions of dollars. I blame both the Democrats and the Repub-licans for starting that level of thinking on money."
Even though he disagreed with the Bush deficits, he said the total of all those deficits is only about a third of what's being discussed with the bailout and stimulus programs.
If there is a stimulus package, Inhofe said the money needs to be increased for highways. Right now, the House version of a stimulus package calls for $30 billion for highways, with Oklahoma getting around $400 million.
He said he has worked with other senators to put together a letter asking for more money for highways. He said Oklahoma has one of the best department of transportation directors in Gary Ridley, and there are projects right now that have been identified and are ready to go.
"That's the one thing in the stimulus program that would really stimulate anything," he said.
Inhofe also was complimentary of some of Obama's cabinet picks, including Hillary Clinton as secretary of state and Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary.
He said he's positive about the military installations in Oklahoma, saying there may be opportunity in training the Iraqi and Afghan military with the T-6s.