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Senate supports measure requiring state divestment in anti-energy companies

The Senate gave approval Tuesday to a measure that would require the state to divest from any financial company that boycotts the energy industry. Also known as the Energy Discrimination Elimination Act of 2022, House Bill 2034 is authored by Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, and aims to support Oklahoma’s largest industry – oil and gas.

“This legislation would ensure the state of Oklahoma is free from discrimination against the fossil-fuel industry and does not support corporations that put political ideology ahead of the interests of taxpayers, shareholders and residents,” Allen said. “More than six percent of our state’s jobs are produced by traditional energy – triple the national average. By divesting from and prohibiting state contracts with companies that boycott this industry, we can bolster support for the employees and jobs created by oil and gas and safeguard the interests of Oklahoma’s citizens and economy.”

The House principal author of the measure is Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore.

“Oklahoma is the state fossil fuels built,” McBride said. “Oil and gas are extremely significant to Oklahomans and our overall economy, and this bill protects our interests from a global movement that attacks the use of fossil fuels. I’m glad to see the passage of this important legislation, and I’m grateful to Senator Allen for his persistence in seeing this through the legislative process.”

The measure moves back to the House of Representatives for final approval before heading to the governor’s desk for his signature.