Claremore Daily Progress

Our View

October 9, 2013

Oklahoma energy producers are leading national revolution



Here in the Sooner State, we are pursuing a truly “all of the above” energy strategy and reaping the benefits of greater fuel diversity. It will probably come as no surprise that Oklahoma ranks in the top five states for natural gas and oil production. Many are unaware, however, that we are only a little further behind when it comes to wind power, at number six in the nation!
In fact, Oklahoma’s wind generation capacity grew by 50% in 2012, and we were one of only four states to add over 1000 Megawatts of capacity.
Innovations in turbine technology means more wind power can be harvested at less cost, and new combined-cycle gas generation power plants are helping to integrate wind power and natural gas as complimentary energy sources.
This is not only creating new jobs in Oklahoma, it’s also helping to provide more affordable, reliable power to Oklahoma families and businesses.
My goal as governor is to support the momentum coming from our private sector and create an environment where energy production continues to thrive.
Two years ago, I laid out my plan for doing so in the state’s first comprehensive energy strategy: the Oklahoma First Energy Plan. In it, I outlined a vision for responsible and reasonable regulation; goals (but not mandates!) for renewable energy production, and an aggressive multi-state plan to bolster demand for natural gas by converting state automobile fleets to compressed natural gas. Converting to CNG cars and trucks will save millions of taxpayer dollars in fuel costs while also helping to support Oklahoma energy production and Oklahoma job creation.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I will continue to push education – especially post-secondary education – as a means of preparing our workforce for high-skill jobs in the energy industry. Oklahoma’s Complete College America initiative, which aims to dramatically increase college degrees and career technology certificate holders in Oklahoma, is one of the ways we are achieving this goal. All of these will be topics at this year’s conference in Tulsa. 
I am looking forward to the discussion and a continued sense of shared purpose as we work to support one of Oklahoma’s most important industries.
Mary Fallin is governor of Oklahoma.

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