Having emerged as a leading advocate for the oil and gas production industry in the legislature, Sen. Cliff Branan has been honored by the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association as Legislator of the Year.
OIPA Vice President of Governmental Affairs Bruce Stallsworth praised Branan for his efforts to support the oil and gas industry in the legislature.
“Sen. Branan has shown unwavering support for our industry,” said Stallsworth. “He has worked hard to become an authority on oil and gas policy and historical issues and I believe him to be the leading advocate for our industry in the Senate.”
The state’s largest oil and gas advocacy group, the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association represents over 1,600 businesses affiliated with oil and gas production and exploration.
Branan said it was an honor to be recognized for his efforts on oil and gas policy issues.
“No other industry is of greater importance to our state’s continued growth,” said Branan, R-Oklahoma City. “We need to support our oil and gas producers, ensuring that they remain the engine driving Oklahoma’s booming economy. I’m honored to have been recognized with this award and will continue fighting to ensure our legislature adequately supports oil and gas production – the bedrock of the Oklahoma economy.”
In response to an increasingly urgent need to reduce dependence on foreign oil and promote fuel conservation, Branan this session authored legislation designed to increase domestic refining capacity.
Senate Bill 1635 would have provided incentives for expansion of refining capacity, but the Democrat Chairman of the Energy and Environment Committee refused to allow the bill to be heard in committee. The same Chairman also refused to hear Senate 1670, authored by Branan to provide tax exemptions to give producers an incentive to revitalize older wells.
Stallsworth said Branan’s willingness to author legislation to address the pressing needs of the industry has distinguished him as a strong and knowledgeable leader on energy issues.
“Though these bills may have fallen short, we were all impressed with how he dug in, learned the issues inside and out and rallied support,” said Stallsworth. “We are truly fortunate that an outstanding member of the community like Senator Branan is willing to make the sacrifices necessary to serve in the legislature.”