Raising Taxes on Oil Drillers Would Help State Budget Woes

Yesterday a group of Oil and Gas producers from across the state led by Dewey Bartlett met with members of the House Energy Committee, both Democrats and Republicans. Most, if not all of them, want to do what is best for our state.

I am hopeful that they will allow amendments to the horizontal bills to protect existing vertical wells from being destroyed by horizontal frac jobs.

Many numbers have been distorted. We believe that the existing 7% tax that 86% of all Oklahoma producers pay is the lowest of any of the major Producing states; certainly from among those that are experiencing the bulk of horizontal drilling.

The other side puts out different numbers. Of course, numbers can be manipulated to say what anyone wants them to say, but facts are facts and these are not disputable.

Fact: Horizontal frac jobs in producing formations where vertical wells already exist are destroying those vertical wells.

Fact: The vertical wells they destroy are paying the historical tax rate of 7%

Fact: The horizontal wells that take their place are paying only 2%.

You do the math!

My first Mentor, outside my dad, was my 8th grade math and history teacher J.C. Treas . He had a profound impact on my life and is probably the reason I am envolved in the political arena.
One principle he taught us was “never be the first to give up the old , nor the last to take up the new”Oklahoma should embrace the new technology of horizontal drilling and massive frack jobs . But as we do we should not give up the old , over 100,000 wells some that have produced for Oklahoma for a hundred years and that unless destroyed will produce revenue, jobs, and lively hood for Oklahoma families for decades to come. At the same time the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has the responsibility to protect everyone’s rights as well as to promulgate rules to protect the environment in this paradigm shift in drilling technology.