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Reps. Mullin, Hern in Republican Group Pushing to Put Democrats on Record About Green New Deal

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Congressman Jeff Duncan
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Two Oklahoma Congressmen are in a Republican group effectively trying to kill the Green New Deal.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin is co-chair of the House Energy Action Team, or HEAT, a group of around 20 House Republicans who want to force a vote on the broad proposal to address climate change. Rep. Kevin Hern is also in the group.

The Green New Deal calls for the U.S. to transition to electricity from 100 percent renewable sources. Mullin said HEAT is an all-of-the-above group.

"We’re not against solar. We’re for solar. We’re not against wind. We’re not against hydro, we’re not against fossil fuels and we’re not against nuclear. We want to mesh it all together," Mullin said.

Mullin claimed it would take an area the size of Texas to switch the U.S. to 100 percent renewable energy as the plan calls for.

"And guess what? The wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun isn’t always shining. It takes fossil fuels to make sure that we have a unique approach to powering this country," Mullin said.

A Stanford researcher estimated it would take about one-fourth the area Mullin said, and renewables store some energy to send to the electrical grid when it’s not being generated.

Hern said the Green New Deal’s call to wean the U.S. off of fossil fuels is an economic nonstarter.

"Energy is the lifeblood of Oklahoma’s economy. Under the toxic Green New Deal, we would lose those jobs and the important impact those companies have on my state," Hern said.

HEAT points to a 57–0 Senate vote this week as evidence Democrats oppose the Green New Deal. 43 Democrats voted "present," however, arguing Republicans are trying to avoid public discussion.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.