Frank Lucas

Frank Lucas

OKLAHOMA's 3rd DISTRICT

Lucas: ‘Obama Administration, EPA has Shut Out Rural America’

2015/05/27

Pawnee, Okla. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) today released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States final rule:

“Today the EPA stands by its decision to expand federal control over our nation’s waterways. This means anything from the largest lakes and rivers to the smallest drainage ditches commonly found on farms and ranches are subject to government scrutiny and penalties. The public has spoken loud and clear on this issue, yet the Obama administration has shut out rural America from its decision-making process.

“Oklahoma’s ag producers share the same conservation goals as the rest of our country; subjecting them to arbitrary fines and even more regulation will not make America’s water any cleaner. I continue to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in strong opposition to this brazen government overreach.”

EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule seeks to define the rivers, streams, and other bodies of water that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The final rule redefines “navigable waterway” – which has traditionally guided federal policy – to potentially any flowing or standing water on public or private land.

Earlier this month the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015. This legislation prevents the administration from implementing the Waters of the U.S. Rule. It also requires the EPA to rewrite the rule and consider public input from the thousands of Americans who submitted comments on this matter.

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Lucas Announces Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

2015/05/21

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas is pleased to announce upcoming town hall meetings to be held in Lincoln, Creek, Logan, Payne and Pawnee counties on May 26th and May 27th. All residents of these locations are invited to attend a meeting and express their opinions. Congressman Lucas will be discussing current events in Washington, taking questions about issues important to constituents of the Third Congressional District, and asking for opinions and input on legislation currently before Congress.

Tuesday, May 26

Stroud Town Hall Meeting

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.     

Stroud Route 66 Coliseum (Hospitality Room)

1086 E 7th Street

Stroud, OK 74079

 

Bristow Town Hall Meeting

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.     

Bristow Public Library (Large Conference Room)

111 West 7th Street

Bristow, OK 74010

 

Wednesday, May 27

Guthrie Town Hall Meeting

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.   

Guthrie Public Library

201 N Division Street

Guthrie, OK 73044

 

Stillwater Town Hall Meeting

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

Stillwater Public Library (Room 309)

1107 South Duck Street

Stillwater, OK 74074

 

Pawnee Town Hall Meeting

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.   

Pawnee City Hall

510 Illinois Street

Pawnee, OK 74058

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Lucas-Bridenstine Bill to Strengthen Severe Weather Forecasting Passes House

2015/05/20

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday evening, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 1561, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, legislation introduced by Congressmen Frank Lucas (OK-03) and Jim Bridenstine (OK-01) to increase lead times in the detection of severe weather, such as tornadoes or hurricanes.

The bill works to ensure funding at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is prioritized toward the best computer modeling, data and operation forecasts. Improved forecasting means more time to prepare and move to shelter for those in regions prone to inclement weather.

Congressman Lucas: “As Oklahomans, we’re no strangers to the pressing need for forecasting improvement. The devastating tornadoes throughout our state’s history serve as a stark reminder that we can do better to provide longer lead times to folks in harm’s way. I’m glad the house acted to pass this bipartisan initiative that will help save lives and reduce property damage. Every minute counts in disaster preparation.”

Congressman Bridenstine: “Weather forecasting is not a partisan issue. I am grateful to my House colleagues for recognizing the importance of improving our understanding of weather in order to better safeguard our constituents. I look forward to working with our Senate counterparts and encourage them to take up H.R. 1561 so that we can send legislation to the President’s desk, setting in motion improvements needed to better predict weather and save lives and property.”

The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act creates a joint technology transfer fund to incorporate new forecasting and models developed through NOAA’s Weather Research Program into our operational forecasts. In its assessment of the bill, the Congressional Budget Office reported that “public entities, such as weather agencies and public universities, would benefit from cooperative agreements… authorized in this bill for research and weather-related activities.”

The bill establishes a pilot program to demonstrate the value of acquiring data from commercial technologies available today. It prompts NOAA to actively consider new commercial data and private sector solutions to further enhance our country’s weather forecasting capabilities.

Lastly, the bill creates a dedicated tornado warning improvement extension program. The program is tasked with reducing the loss of life and destruction of property by actively working to extend tornado warning lead times.

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Lucas Measure to Repeal Controversial Endangered Species Listing Passes House

2015/05/18

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed an amendment introduced by Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) to effectively remove the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) from the Endangered Species List (ESL) for a period of five years. The proposal, which passed by a vote of 229-190, amends the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to address concerns that the LPC’s “threatened” listing  by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could needlessly impact American defense readiness by hindering development of new facilities and training exercises. The recent listing has also generated concern among agriculture and energy producers in the five state region of the LPC.

“Despite strong conservation efforts in Oklahoma and other range states, the Lesser Prairie Chicken remains on the Endangered Species List. Its listing has not only created yet another layer of costs and bureaucracy for farmers and ranchers, but it could also force American military bases to tip toe around a set of dubious regulations.

“This amendment ensures our military may continue to operate on its own schedule, rather than waiting on approval from an agency bureaucrat,” said Congressman Lucas.

In addition to de-listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken – whose populations actually increased in 2014 – Lucas’ amendment also de-lists the American Burying Beetle which has been on the ESL since the early 1980’s despite the fact that its observed populations today are well above goals set by the Fish and Wildlife Services in 1991. There are numerous military bases in the Lesser Prairie Chicken’s range and dozens more in the very large estimated range of the American Burying Beetle.

The amendment is supported by the National Rural Electric Co-operatives Association (NRECA), Farm Bureau, the National Association of Homebuilders, and the Chamber of Commerce.

 

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Lucas Announces Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

2015/04/29

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas is pleased to announce upcoming town hall meetings to be held in Canadian, Caddo, Kiowa, Jackson, Greer, and Harmon counties on May 6th and May 7th. All residents of these locations are invited to attend a meeting and express their opinions. Congressman Lucas will be discussing current events in Washington, taking questions about issues important to constituents of the Third Congressional District, and asking for opinions and input on legislation currently before Congress.

 

Wednesday, May 6:

El Reno Town Hall Meeting9:00 – 10:00 a.m.Hook N Slice Grill801 Babcock Drive, El Reno, OK

Hinton Town Hall Meeting10:30 – 11:30 a.m.Fire Station Community Room115 S. Broadway Street, Hinton, OK

Hobart Town Hall Meeting2:00 – 3:00 p.m.Stanley Building300 S. Washington Street, Hobart, OK

Altus Town Hall Meeting4:00 – 5:00 p.m.Days Inn2804 N. Main Street, Altus, OK

Thursday, May 7:

Mangum Town Hall Meeting1:00 – 2:00 p.m.Mangum Senior Citizens’ Center213 N. Oklahoma Ave., Mangum, OK

Hollis Town Hall Meeting3:00 – 4:00 p.m.Hollis Civic Center208 W. Jones Street, Hollis, OK

 

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Twenty Years Later: A Stronger Oklahoma

2015/04/22

I’ll never forget that morning twenty years ago. I sat with the Oklahoma congressional delegation in Dallas for a hearing on the Base Realignment and Closure Commision when I heard the news. An Oklahoma City reporter tapped me on the shoulder and said, “we have a report that there’s been an explosion at the federal building in Oklahoma City. We understand it’s gone. Which federal building is your congressional office in?”

My heart sank. I thought about my staff I left behind in Oklahoma City that morning. At the time, my congressional office was located only a block and a half away from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. We finished the meeting with a very abbreviated presentation and immediately left to catch a flight back home.

Before arriving, I saw the grim scene on television but nothing could prepare me for what I witnessed on the ground that day.

I’ll never forget coming up towards the street of my office from the south. I soon realized there weren’t windows in any of the buildings. The sheer magnitude of the explosion had blown them all out. Debris and broken glass covered the streets and emergency response teams shuffled through the rubble, still searching for those who could be saved and recovering those who could not.

I’ll never forget the hours and days to come, as the process shifted from rescue to recovery efforts. We watched the old building move in the wind. Its core had been blown out.

I’ll never forget the grave expressions of the folks who had worked themselves to exhaustion in the explosion’s aftermath. Fire and rescue crews from across Oklahoma and the country packed up and drove to Oklahoma City, not knowing what to expect.

In 1995, terrorism was something that happened overseas. It was not a tangible issue at home yet and we were naïve as a country in that respect. As the following investigations uncovered how simple the resources were to create a bomb of that scale – materials that existed in almost every community in the United States – Oklahoma and the rest of the country changed.

The Oklahoma City bombing is still the single largest act of domestic terrorism our country has suffered. We learned these attacks can come from within and we learned to prepare for these threats in the future.

In the wake of the tragedy, our community’s resolve to rebuild was stronger than ever. No one wanted this attack to permanently destroy the vitality of Oklahoma City. Our primary goal was a swift and robust recovery. Everywhere we turned a hand was reaching out to pull us back to our feet. Today this city is more viable than it has ever been.

The outpour of public support from across the country changed me forever.

For example, a colleague of mine at the time from New Jersey invited me to his district. One of the public schools and local military bases had held a fundraiser for the Oklahoma City relief fund. I arrived at the auditorium not knowing what to expect. It was filled with students and off duty military personnel and these good people presented me with a $100,000 check to take home for the recovery efforts. I was nearly 1,500 miles away from Oklahoma, but that sense of comradery from my fellow Americans made me feel right at home.

If someone thought they could strike a blow to the core of America, they only confirmed that we are a family and that we can come together and be decent to one another.

There’s always been the traditional perspective that Oklahoma is just a nice little ag state with oil and gas wells in the middle of the country. If you didn’t go down I-35 or down old Route 66, you might have missed us. But on that day twenty years ago, we were thrust onto the world stage and demonstrated that in the worst of circumstances we could reemerge stronger and more united than ever before.

On this 20th anniversary of the OKC bombing, we reflect on the 168 lives lost and the families and loved ones who live on with their memories.

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Lucas, Oklahoma Delegation Remembers April 19 Tragedy

2015/04/17

 

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WASHINGTON – Members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation joined in remembrance of the tragic bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. The act of domestic terrorism that took place 20 years ago claimed 168 innocent lives in Oklahoma City and left families, loved ones and communities forever changed.

“I will never forget the hallowed expressions of the men and women who had worked themselves to exhaustion helping their fellow citizens in the explosion’s aftermath. And I will never forget the outpour of support from across the country. Everywhere we turned, a hand was reaching out to pull us back to our feet,” said Rep. Frank Lucas. “Before that fateful day, many folks may have overlooked Oklahoma. If you didn’t go down I-35 or down old Route 66, you might have missed us. But on that day, 20 years ago, we were thrust onto the world stage and demonstrated that in the worst of circumstances we could reemerge stronger and more united than ever. Oklahoma and the rest of our nation changed on that day. However, in the wake of tragedy, our resolve and sense of community has only grown. Today we honor the memories of the 168 souls who were taken from us and those whose lives were changed forever.”

“Even though time has passed, the nightmare that took place 20 years ago vividly remains for many and our sorrow still lingers for those lost in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995,” said Rep. Tom Cole. “When I think back on that fateful day, I remember the heartbreak, pain and shock felt by all—but most especially by the families, friends and loved ones of those whose lives were prematurely and unfairly taken. In the midst of a terrible tragedy, I remember the bravery and strength displayed by first responders. I will also never forget the outpouring of love and support within our own communities and from countless others across the nation and around the world. And I shall always be grateful for the splendid leadership by Governor Frank Keating, First Lady Cathy Keating, Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick and Rep. Frank Lucas in that time of tragedy and triumph for the state of Oklahoma. ”

“With the anniversary of this terrible tragedy, we will grieve the loss of many innocent adults and children, stand with the survivors and also give thanks for the first responders and the volunteers from Oklahoma and across the country that helped in the aftermath,” said Rep. Markwayne Mullin. “It is because of the strength of our communities and the help from Americans across this great nation that our state rebounded stronger than before. And our country came to know the Oklahoma Standard—the way in which Oklahomans come together in times of tragedy and hardship. So from the ashes of this evil act, our state built a message of hope and love. It is through these principles that we can overcome any challenge.”

"Twenty years ago the Oklahoma City bombing seared the concept of terrorism on American soil into our national consciousness and proved that we are all vulnerable, even in the heartland,” said Rep. Jim Bridenstine. “I was in college at Rice University in 1995. All of us remember exactly where we were that day, and we will never forget the 168 people who were killed.  Terrorism is evil, yet the incredible response to tragedies like we experienced in Oklahoma 20 years ago serve to highlight the strength, resolve, and resiliency of the American people to the world."   

“April 19th, 1995 will forever be one of those days that Oklahomans live with every day of their life,” said Rep. Steve Russell. “Not only did it affect our citizens, it also opened our nation’s eyes to the frightening thought of domestic terrorism. It is because of events like these that we must never let our guard down and must remain vigilant in protecting our entire homeland. As we reflect on the 20th anniversary, let us pray for the families that lost loved ones, and for the many survivors, that they may be granted a special comfort and peace.” 

“Today we remember the 168 Oklahomans, including young children, who were killed in an evil act of domestic terrorism in Oklahoma City,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe. “We remember the rescue workers, the firefighters and everyone who rushed to the scene to provide aid and extend comfort. What arose from the rubble that day was the Oklahoma Standard – strangers helping strangers, giving sacrificially for the betterment of our great state. Since then, the rest of the nation has seen this rich characteristic on display time and again as Oklahomans pull up their boots in trying times and walk forward with hope that comes from banding together. May we stand in solidarity today to remember the victims, to give thanks to first responders, and to continue to pray for Oklahoma and the families and friends who lost loved ones on April 19, 1995.”

“On this solemn anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, my family and staff remember the lives that were lost 20 years ago,” said Sen. James Lankford. “We remember the first responders who acted selflessly in a time of need. We remember the families who lost loved ones, and we remember the survivors who continue to re-count and re-live that fateful day. We lift up the families impacted by this tragic event and all Oklahomans who did not let fear overcome their love for our fellow man. When faced with anguish, Oklahomans thrived. We did not allow our hope to fade. Our state experienced firsthand Psalm 34:18 which says, ‘the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit’. This year we are all finding practical ways to serve each other, even those we disagree with, so we never again allow anger to blind our eyes to one another. May God bless our state, and may we never lose our resilient Oklahoma spirit.”

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Lucas Announces Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

2015/03/24

Congressman Frank Lucas is pleased to announce five upcoming town hall meetings in Dewey, Woodward, Washita, Ellis and Harper counties on March 30th through April 1st. All residents of these locations are invited to attend a meeting and express their opinions. Congressman Lucas will be discussing current events in Washington, taking questions about issues important to constituents of the Third Congressional District and asking for opinions and input on legislation currently before Congress.

Monday, March 30:

Taloga Town Hall Meeting10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.Great Plains National Bank, Community Room100 S. Broadway, Taloga, OK

Woodward Town Hall Meeting1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.Woodward Conference Center, Meeting Room 23401 Centennial Lane, Woodward, OK

Tuesday, March 31:

Cordell Town Hall Meeting1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Cordell Police Department, Precinct Room105 W. Main St., Cordell, OK

Wednesday, April 1:

Shattuck Town Hall Meeting10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.Shattuck Chamber of Commerce Building115 South Main Street, Shattuck, OK

Laverne Town Hall Meeting1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.Laverne Community Center201 South Broadway, Laverne, OK

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House Passes Lucas Bill to Promote Scientific Integrity at EPA

2015/03/17

Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed the bipartisan EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (H.R. 1029), introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Vice-Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). The bill brings fairness, transparency, and independence to the EPA’s expert panel.

“The EPA’s Science Advisory Board was intended to provide a meaningful, balanced, and independent assessment of the science that informs federal regulatory decisions,” said Congressman Lucas. “However, the EPA systematically silences voices of dissent on the Science Advisory Board, ignores calls for independence and balanced participation, and prevents the Board from responding to Congressional requests. This is a good-government bill; it reflects the values we should uphold regardless of which side of the political aisle we are on. The bill recognizes the important role science should play in our policy debates and provides safeguards to give the public confidence in science. It restores the independent Science Advisory Board as a defender of scientific integrity.”

The SAB was created in 1978 to provide independent expert advice to the EPA and Congress on scientific and technical information that may be used to justify federal regulations. Over the past decades, shortcomings with the current process have arisen, including limited public participation, EPA interference with expert advice, and potential conflicts of interest.

The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act:

·         Strengthens public participation and opportunities for the public to comment

·         Reinforces peer review requirements and reduces conflicts of interest

·         Provides opportunities for dissenting panelists to make their views known

·         Requires communication of uncertainties in scientific findings and conclusions

 

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The Hill: Keeping the EPA Honest

2015/03/16

In western Oklahoma, we’re no strangers to regulatory overreach from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Farmers, ranchers and small businesses are often surprised to find themselves the target of burdensome and downright inefficient regulations.

These regulations range from something as specific as farm fuel tank permitting requirements to vastly prohibitive restrictions on the electric plants that power our homes.

Government intrusion into America’s energy and agricultural sectors reverberates into our everyday lives in the form of higher food prices or monthly energy bills. Stagnant wages and underemployment have only exacerbated this problem for families trying to make ends meet.

The science behind EPA regulations is as important as the money they siphon from our economy. Science and data are invaluable tools in helping us navigate complex policy issues, and when the economic cost of these regulations reaches into tens of millions of dollars, we need to get it right.

The Science Advisory Board (SAB) is a panel of independent experts that reviews the science behind EPA rules which potentially impact the lives of millions of Americans. The heavy costs of these regulations should warrant some degree of public oversight and an assurance that this board’s findings are free from bias – not provided by a set of handpicked advisers.

Shortcomings with the process have come up recently, including limited public participation, interference with expert advice and possible conflicts of interest. These are alarming signs for an organization whose reputation stems from impartiality.

This week the House will vote on a bill I introduced to address these issues and ensure the science guiding EPA’s regulatory policy is objective, open and balanced.

The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act prevents the agency from using this advisory board to simply sign off on their regulatory agenda by empowering the board to listen to outside expertise. State and private experts sometimes have the greatest knowledge on issues. However, too often they are locked out of this process entirely. This should be reason enough to implement transparency measures to this board.

In fact, during most SAB meetings participation from the public is limited, if not entirely absent, and there is essentially no avenue for interested parties to comment on the scope of the board’s reviews. Some of the members who serve on the panel have even made public statements advocating specific policy positions on the same issues they are tasked with providing unbiased scientific advice.

Partisan inclinations should play no role in EPA’s science. And actively shutting out certain unpopular viewpoints is a disservice to scientific integrity and the public. My proposal requires members to disclose potential conflicts of interest and makes them available for public review.

For an agency that consistently shrugs off Congressional oversight efforts, the significance of SAB’s role cannot be overstated. Opposition to our proposal’s goal to shine light on the board’s review process is merely an excuse to defend the advisory board’s obstructionist and partisan status quo.

This is a good-government bill, one that can help restore credibility and trust in a federal agency that has lost much of it. Disagreements on scientific conclusions should not occur on the House floor, and this legislation will ensure the best experts are free to undertake an open and honest review of EPA’s regulatory science.

Lucas has represented congressional districts in western Oklahoma since 1994. He sits on the Agriculture and Financial Services committees and is vice chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

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2015-04-17 15:23:22


Contact Information

2311 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5565
Fax 202-225-8698
lucas.house.gov/

Congressman Frank Lucas is a fifth generation Oklahoman whose family has lived and farmed in Oklahoma for over 100 years. Born on January 6, 1960 in Cheyenne, Oklahoma, Lucas graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1982 with a degree in Agricultural Economics. He was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in a special election in 1994, and is currently serving his 11th term as a Member of Congress.

Frank proudly represents Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District includes all or portions of 32 counties in northern and western Oklahoma, stretching from the Oklahoma panhandle to parts of Tulsa, and from Yukon to Altus in the southwest. It takes up almost half the state’s land mass and is one of the largest agricultural regions in the nation. Lucas has been a crusader for the American farmer since being elected to Congress in 1994 as well as working to protect Oklahoma values.

Congressman Lucas serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture. In addition, he serves on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Frank also serves as a member of the Republican Whip Team.  The Republican Whip Team is led by Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-22).  The representatives who are members of the team serve as leaders in their party and work with the Republican leadership team to ensure every American’s voice is heard in Congress.

Prior to his service in the U.S. Congress, Lucas served for five and a half years in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives, where he tirelessly defended the rights of private property owners and focused on promoting agriculture issues.

Frank and his wife Lynda have three children and one grandchild. The Lucas family belongs to the First Baptist Church in Cheyenne.


Serving With

Jim Bridenstine

OKLAHOMA's 1st DISTRICT

Markwayne Mullin

OKLAHOMA's 2nd DISTRICT

Tom Cole

OKLAHOMA's 4th DISTRICT

Steve Russell

OKLAHOMA's 5th DISTRICT

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