US Congressman Markwayne Mullin stopped in Durant Thursday afternoon following a visit to the Atoka Keystone Pipeline site.
Mullin said that he had spent the day touring the Keystone area and talking with crew members and people around Atoka.
The congressman said he wants to make sure there is hands-on involvement with this project by congress.
Mullin said that this project has already made a difference in the economy around the town of Atoka. He said the pipeline is hiring everybody possible and the company buys supplies for each site from local stores.
Mullin also said that he was told during his visit that some restaurants have even opened on Sundays when they were normally closed for the business from pipeline workers.
He said this means not only are towns with Keystone pipeline sites seeing money from the initial investment, but also from the workers’ salaries going back into the communities.
Mullin said that this kind of economic boost is important in our area where the average household income is approximately $27,000 a year.
On top of the economic value, Mullin commented on who we would be getting oil from. By using this pipeline, Mullin said “we’ll be able to get oil from a country that actually likes us.”
Mullin said that the pipeline was approved by the US Senate in a measure that passed last week and the environmental issues concerning the project have been addressed.
He said that the only thing the project is waiting for now is a signature from the president. “I don’t know why he is dragging his feet on this,” said Mullin.
Mullin said that he believes much of the concern comes from not having all of the information about the project.
“If we could sit with the opposition and relay some facts, I think we would quiet some of the opposition,” said Mullin.
Mullin said the president talks about “shovel-ready jobs but Mullin said, “how much more shovel ready can you get?”
Mullin also commented on the issue of gun restrictions during his Durant visit. He said that the issue is “dead on the floor in House.”
“We have enough rules on the books. We just have to enforce the ones we have,” said Mullin. He said the law-abiding citizens do not need to be punished and that the focus should be on the ones who break the laws.
Mullin also stayed in Durant for the opening of the new Bryan County Jail extension. He spoke at the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the facility.
Mullin said that when he needs to demonstrate the true meaning of America in Washington, he tells people to look at our district.
He said that the Southern Oklahoma area shows that we want to invest in our communities and that we have pride in our communities.
On this note, he said that he was “floored at how many people showed up” at the opening of a county jail.