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Tribute To B.M.“Mack” Rankin, Jr.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

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Mr. President, today I wish to speak about a dear friend whose contributions to the great State of Texas and our Nation are most notable.

B.M. Rankin, Jr., known by his friends as ``Mack,'' is a pioneer in the oil and gas industry. More than three decades ago, Rankin and two partners, W.K. McWilliams, Jr. and James R. Moffett, founded McMoRan Exploration Co., an independent public company engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore in the gulf coast area. Today Rankin is the vice chairman of both McMoRan Exploration Co., NYSE, and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., NYSE, the world's third-largest copper deposit and the single largest gold deposit in the world.

Rankin's expertise and knowledge of America's energy resources, coupled with his leadership and vision for our country's energy needs, have transformed public policy in this area.

For the past 2 years, he has served as the chairman of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association. Under his guidance, the association has provided the industry with representation in legislative, regulatory and public affairs, and it serves as a resource on technical matters. Membership in the association represents all segments of the industry, including major oil and gas companies, independent oil and gas producers, refineries, natural gas and petroleum products transportation and distribution companies, natural gas generation companies, and other firms and individuals involved in the industry.

Throughout his career Rankin has been a strong advocate for clarity and practicality in the ongoing debate to formulate a responsible national energy policy. Because of his steadfast efforts, the oil and gas industry plays a leading role in these policy debates and deliberations.

A native of Dallas, Rankin is an active member and generous benefactor of a number of local charitable foundations. He has served on the Board of Visitors of the University Cancer Foundation of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital Cancer Center and as chairman for the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, CLL, Global Research Foundation.

On May 13, 2010, Rankin will step down as chairman of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association. On this special occasion I want not only to commend Rankin for his lifelong dedication to energy policy but also to thank him for his tremendous commitment to our State and country.