Representative Mullin highlights importance of opportunity zones to rural areas during hearing

Pictured: Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2). Mullin is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and vice-chair of the Native American Caucus.(Photo by U.S. House Office of Photography)

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Opportunity Zones can benefit rural areas especially with broadband and jobs

News Release

Office of U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2)

On Tuesday, during the Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on how COVID-19 disproportionately impacts minority communities, Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) highlighted the benefits Opportunity Zones can bring to rural areas, especially when it comes to rural broadband and jobs.

“We all have unique challenges in our districts and my district is no different,” Mullin said during the hearing. “One thing that has been exposed in my district is broadband. I have a very rural district. In fact, just recently and the only reason I’m able to be on this hearing is because I got internet at my house. When we start talking about opportunity zones, we need to pay attention to that.”

“In opportunity zones, we talk about jobs too because with technology also comes job opportunities,” Mullin continued.

Video of Mullin’s remarks can be found here.

Background

In Oklahoma’s Second District, less than half of the residents have access to broadband internet, something most people across the country have enjoyed for years. More than 45 percent of individuals living on tribal land in Oklahoma don’t have access to high-speed internet.

Last year, Mullin introduced H.R. 2929, the Rural Broadband Network Advancement (RBNA) Act, which would invest in expanding broadband access in rural areas.

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