Mullin: Feds Should Leave Oklahoma Lakes Alone

Rep. Mullin

Staff and Wire Reports

U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin is pushing for more state control over federally regulated lake shorelines.

The freshman Republican from Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District announced Tuesday he is a co-sponsor of a bill called the Leave Our Lakes Alone Act by Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

Mullin says the bill would transfer control of lake shorelines currently handled by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to individual states.

Mullin contends FERC is regulating lakes "well beyond what the original federal laws and statutes gave them authority to do." FERC would still be allowed to control matters related to power regulation.

Mullin says the bill would open the door to more economic opportunities in northeastern Oklahoma.

"This is a great opportunity for the people along the Grand Lake Watershed, who have the best interest in mind for the viability and economic future of their own communities, to finally have a say over their shores," Mullin said in a press release.

The Leave Our Lakes Alone Act gives each state the opportunity to opt out of all hydroelectric lake shoreline regulations other than the ones governing power regulation. If a state chooses to opt out, then state or local government can institute regulations for their hydroelectric shorelines as long as it does not impact power regulation. However, if a state is comfortable with the way FERC regulates its lakes, then nothing would change.

"This is the kind of common sense legislation I came to Washington to fight for," Mullin said. "The communities along the lake know what is best for their area, not some bureaucrat sitting in an office many miles away from Northeastern Oklahoma. I will work hard to secure passage of this bill."