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VIDEO: Lankford Criticizes Keystone Decision, Previews Upcoming Government Waste Report

U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.)
U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.)

Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford called President Obama’s reasoning for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline flawed during a floor speech Tuesday night.

The state’s junior Republican Senator said the president gave three reasons for rejecting the project – it wouldn’t contribute to the economy in a meaningful long-term way, it wouldn’t lower gas prices, and that shipping oil into the U.S. from unstable countries wouldn’t increase American energy security.

"He's either means that Canada is an unstable country and we don't want to be reliant on them to get energy, or he's saying the Middle East and other countries are unstable, and we don't want to rely on them, so maybe we should buy from Canada instead,” Lankford said. “Either way, it makes absolutely no sense."

Lankford also suggested lifting the U.S. oil export ban, saying the U.S. has more light sweet crude than it can use, and there’s a higher demand in other countries.

“Many refineries in Mexico prefer the light sweet crude,” Lankford said. “So in the past couple of months Mexico and the United States have a swap, through pipelines, that they're picking up 75,000 barrels of light sweet and swapping 75,000 barrels of heavier crude, because they have a commodity we want and they have -- and we have a commodity they want.”

‘Federal Fumbles’ Preview

Lankford said Wednesday he wants every member of Congress to try to find areas of waste and duplication in government spending in the areas overseen by their various committees.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says federal deficit spending totaled $439 billion for the fiscal year that ended September 30.

Lankford told CNBC’s Squawk Box this Wednesday morning it’s hard to deal with federal duplication when everything isn’t out there on the table, which is the goal of his Taxpayers’ Right-to-Know Act.

"Every business in America has a list of everything they do and they're constantly watching for duplication, except for government,” Lankford said. “So that's one of the tools we need to add to the toolbox. We already have the Inspector General and GAO to do that. We need to be able to use some of their reports and start digging into this stuff."

Later this month Lankford plans to unveil his “Federal Fumbles” waste and solutions report.

Lankford’s predecessor Tom Coburn regularly released similar findings before his retirement in 2014.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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