Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz praised the final passage of Senate Bill 867, the Oklahoma Energy Jobs Act of 2017. Schulz said the measure would generate millions of dollars in revenue for the state and spur the creation of thousands of jobs in the Oklahoma oil patch.
The state of Oklahoma from our economy to our state budget benefits greatly when oil and gas wells are operating and producing. The Oklahoma Energy Jobs Act will kick start drilling activity across the state, generating millions of dollars for our schools and the state budget while also creating wealth and jobs in the private sector. This bill is a job creator and a revenue generator and comes at a time when the state is desperate for both, said Schulz, R-Altus. This has been years in the making and represents a compromise among policymakers, the industry, mineral and property owners and other stakeholders.
Schulz is principal author of the measure which is projected to generate a total of $18.9 million in new revenue. SB 867 won final approval in the House on Wednesday.
Sen. Bryce Marlatt, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, said the bill will help the oil and gas industry fuel the states economic recovery. Currently, Oklahoma is the only state that restricts long-lateral drilling based on the type of rock formation. The bill also provides safeguards for property owners, mineral owners, and all operators.
The energy industry is the backbone of our states economy and when the industry prospers our state prospers too. This bill makes Oklahoma more competitive, and as a result means well see more activity in the oil patch and more money for our education and state and local governments, and more good-paying jobs for Oklahomans, said Marlatt, R-Woodward.