Chance to Create Energy Independence

Oklahoma’s 52nd Legislature faces another budget crisis yet it more critical than ever that state lawmakers support local oil and gas exploration and production efforts.
There is plenty of opportunity for pro-business legislation as the Republicans, for the first time in state history, have control of both the houses of the Legislature.
In January, the House Republican caucus announced the a “Progress for Oklahoma” agenda.
The six-point plan includes efforts to move toward energy independence, build a pro-growth business climate, prepare students for a competitive marketplace, promote access to affordable health care, protect Oklahoma families, and modernize and reform state government.
Part of the energy independence agenda are plans to strengthen alternative fuel production in the state.
Oklahomans can no longer be complacent when it comes to using alternatives, said House Speaker Chris Benge. There are plentiful local resources that can serve as an alternative fuel.
“Our state is poised to take advantage of what is becoming a national movement for alternative fuels,” said Benge, R-Tulsa. “States can lead the way, and no one is better situated than Oklahoma to be a national leader. It will take an all-of-the-above solution to wean us from our dependence on foreign oil, including wind and solar energies, biofuels, compressed and liquefied natural gas, clean coal, geothermal and nuclear technologies, expanding our domestic drilling capacity all while also placing an emphasis on conservation. We also support sufficient energy infrastructure.”
Government can help establish the right conditions for economic growth, through workforce development, while recognizing that workers and business owners can truly grow the state’s economy.
“Since taking over the majority, we have worked to put in place reasonable tax reforms that have allowed Oklahomans to keep more of their hard-earned money, and we will work this session to protect the existing tax relief,” Benge said. “We will also work to remove regulatory barriers and make legal reforms to ensure our laws encourage economic growth. Investments in transportation and infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, will also continue to be critical after decades of neglect.”
Oklahoma’s long energy heritage with oil and natural gas producers makes it imperative that lawmakers build a pro-growth business climate.

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