In one of the gutsiest political maneuvers recently made, Governor Kevin Stitt defended Oklahoma jobs and citizens’ well-being by taking a page from the Biden playbook. By signing Executive Order 2021-03, the federal government’s attempt to control and influence the state’s oil and gas industry was severely thwarted.
“Energy production is the backbone of Oklahoma’s economy,” said Governor Stitt. “My executive order sends a clear message to the Biden Administration that threatening to destroy Oklahoma jobs and our constitutional ability to develop our oil and gas is unacceptable. We will not be passive in responding to systematic attacks on Oklahoma values.”
Executive Order Specifics
- Highlights Oklahoma’s role as a global leader in energy production
- State has reduced carbon dioxide emissions to levels below the national average
- Produces the most affordable energy in the United States
- Criticizes the Biden Administration’s attack on energy producing states
- Cites federal overreach and dismissal of the state’s ability to identify how it should develop its natural resources
Celebrating states’ rights and this current example of how to protect them, members of the House and Senate vocalized their concern for federal intervention and the Governor’s defensive response to an anything but friendly administration where fossil fuels are concerned.
“In Oklahoma, the oil and gas industry in particular provides hundreds of thousands of good paying-jobs and greatly adds to the local and state economy. President Biden’s actions threaten those jobs and our local and state economies,” said Senator Zack Taylor, R-Seminole, Senate Energy Chair. “I appreciate governor Stitt’s action to stand up for Oklahoma and I am proud to work with him to protect our energy industry.”
Claiming federal overreach and the infiltration into the livelihood of individuals, the fear of detriment to thousands of Oklahoma citizens is predicted without the Sitt order.
“The work of our citizens in the energy sector is felt across the world, and federal overreach in the form of presidential executive orders puts at risk the livelihood of thousands in Oklahoma depending on this vital economic industry,” said Representative Brad Boles, R-Marlow, House Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair. “I stand with Governor Stitt, and thousands of hard working Oklahomans in strongly condemning President Biden’s job-killing executive order.”
Providing for the States
Predicting the possibility of the federal government entering the protective waters of states and their rights, the Tenth Amendment was designed and included in the United States Constitution. Part of the Bill of Rights; the amendment specifies that the federal government only has powers delegated by the constitution itself. Furthermore, it indicates that all other powers not forbidden to the states are reserved to each one of the states.
Using the verbiage of our Founding Fathers, the Tenth Amendment served as a basis for Governor Stitt’s retaliation. Considering that Oklahoma’s rights were in peril, the action was invoked and supported by like minded politicians.
“The tenth Amendment limits the scope of federal power and prescribes that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states,” said Representative Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, House States Rights Committee Chair. “It is well within the purview of each individual state to secure it’s citizens’ unalienable rights.”
Longevity Down the Road
Defending an industry that vastly supports Oklahoma’s economy, many politicians have come to praise Governor Stitt’s actions. Additional support has been wagered by additional supportive entities.
“The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma applauds the efforts of Governor Kevin Stitt to ensure our great industry continues to produce the affordable, reliable energy our friends and neighbors need to power their lives,” said Brook A. Simmons, Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma President.
The groundwork laid seems to definitely give reason to celebrate the recent example of patriotism at its finest, while supporting an industry that continues to display perseverance, character and the undeniable ability to survive typically unjustified criticisms. Only time will tell if the Stitt order will survive its own level of scrutiny and attack. One thing is for certain, however, other energy producing states might consider studying it as a blueprint to both celebrate and protect the rights of its own constituents and the industry that feeds them while keeping the lights on for others.
Nick Vaccaro is a freelance writer and photographer. Besides providing technical writing services, he is an HSE consultant in the oil and gas industry with eight years of experience. He also contributes to Louisiana Sportsman Magazine and follows and photographs American Kennel Club field and herding trials. Nick has a BA in Photojournalism from Loyola University and resides in the New Orleans area. 210-240-7188 [email protected]