Thursday, November 1, 2007

OK State Senator Rice to Inhofe: Lead or Get Out of the Way

One year from now, on November 4, 2008, we will all be making an important decision about our nation’s future - whether we maintain the status quo or take a new direction.

In Oklahoma, we will be making the same decision for our state. Do we vote to continue politics as usual, or do vote for change?

I believe I can help lead our country in a new direction, but my campaign for U.S. Senate is not just about me. It’s about every Oklahoman. It’s about the future prosperity of our state.

When I ran for state senate, I knocked on nearly every door in my district and listened to the concerns of the people behind them. Once they became my constituents, I was a better advocate for them because of my door-walking campaign. For my U.S. Senate campaign, I am entering into the same process for the Democratic nomination. Though I can’t knock on every door in the state, I am listening to the people of Oklahoma. I will be a better voice for Oklahomans if I know what’s important to them, and can address their concerns.

The incumbent senator, Jim Inhofe
, on the other hand, proved how out of touch he is last week by taking more than two hours on the Senate floor to rail against the reality of climate change. Instead of being an advocate for the Oklahoma’s promise as a leader in clean-burning energy, he is still debating an issue that’s long settled, isolating himself from even his own party - many of whom see the need to address the problem rather than merely denying the problem.

The Oklahoman on Tuesday included some of my response to Sen. Inhofe's floor speech, in which I called on Sen. Inhofe to spend equal time promoting Oklahoma’s unique position to become a leader in developing alternative energy sources. Our rich reserves of natural gas and our tremendous potential to use wind, switchgrass, animal products, and other natural resources as viable energy alternatives presents us with a great opportunity to lead. But instead of leading, Sen. Inhofe has proved the world is passing him by. He’s stuck on arguing the existence of a problem, while the rest of us are moving on to the solution.

I will continue to lead on this issue. In the coming session of the state legislature, I will push for Oklahoma to convert our state vehicle fleet to clean-burning natural gas. On Saturday, I will speak at an event in Oklahoma City called “Step It Up” as part of a national day of climate action. And as a U.S. Senator, I will be the advocate our state needs - and our nation needs - on this issue.

To donate to Sen. Rice, click here.