Dear Senator Lankford,
On December 6, 2021, Oil & Gas Workers Association invited you to participate in a debate along with your opponent in the upcoming Oklahoma Republican U.S. Senate primary Jackson Lahmeyer.
Our invitation was extended in good faith because we believe an informed electorate – particularly with a focus on the problems facing the domestic energy industry in Oklahoma and across the nation – is vital for our Members and every American engaged in making the best decisions in the upcoming election.
We are disappointed you have not responded to our invitation and that you have now added insult to injury by publicly stating that Oil & Gas Workers Association and our sincere invitation for a debate are somehow “phony”.
Maybe you consider a grassroots, independent trade association of America’s Oil & Gas Workers “phony”. Perhaps my and many others’ work to grow this organization since its inception in 2015 is a “sideshow” to you. Despite the political stump speeches, kissing babies, and shaking hands, you may not truly care about or represent “We the people”.
Oil & Gas Workers Association was founded in 2015 in response to the Obama/Biden-era weaponization of the EPA that hurt U.S. producers, contractors, service companies, landowners, and investors, and cost many Americans our jobs.
OGWA was officially incorporated in Texas on April 20, 2020 – the dark day oil prices plunged to negative numbers after the downturn in world oil demand amidst the pandemic and after President Trump did everything he could to save American jobs and brokered an end to the Saudi-Russia price war.
Oil & Gas Workers Association received our 501(c)6 nonprofit tax exempt determination on October 16, 2020, and the effective date is the date of incorporation, April 20, 2020.
OGWA’s Facebook page dates back even further to March 21, 2015. There is nothing ” phony” about our organization or our concerns. Your claim that our debate invitation is somehow contrived or less than legitimate is a slap in the face to OGWA’s over 6,000 Oklahama Members you currently represent in the U.S. Senate.
Senator, I understand you must feel the weight of a nation daily, but your attack on our 45,000+ members is unwarranted, inappropriate, and an insult to the very people who supported your campaign and for whom you claim to work.
As a duly elected representative of Oklahoma in the U.S. Congress for 10 years, you have an obligation to explain your voting record on issues of interest to our Members and all Oklahoma voters. Your refusal to do so is viewed by many as arrogant and beneath the stature of a U.S. Senator.
I cannot imagine the late Senator Tom Coburn acting in this elitist, self-serving, and aloof manner. You may think attacking the sincerity of our invitation is politically advantageous, or maybe you simply do not want to answer questions about your policy positions and voting record.
With all due respect, Senator Lankford, America’s Oil & Gas Workers and every Oklahoman you represent deserve those answers. You work for us.
It is our intention to go ahead with the planned debate on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, with the only other candidate for your seat, Pastor Jackson Lahmeyer. Our Members and many other voters in Oklahoma are interested to hear his views and policy proposals to secure, grow, and sustain American oil & gas jobs.
This date is one you should be in district, and Oil & Gas Workers Association will coordinate with your campaign staff to make all necessary arrangements.
Additionally, OGWA will sponsor a debate for the candidates vying for the seat of Senator James Inhofe who – as you are aware – announced his retirement. Consistent with our invitation to you, we will invite every announced candidate for the Republican nomination for the Inhofe seat.
Senator Lankford, your decision to attack the motives and livelihood of our Members reflects badly on your fitness to represent our great Sooner State and the best interest of our jobs and families in the Senate.
Taking the route Vice President Kamala Harris has taken and laughing off or scoffing at the American people and issues of the highest importance is your choice. An apology to our Members for your unwarranted and politically motivated attack on Oil & Gas Workers is in order.
I await your response.
Sincerely, Matt Coday
Oil & Gas Workers Association is a nonpartisan, independent, Member-supported, nonprofit trade association working to secure, grow, and sustain American oil & gas jobs.