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A bill that would prohibit local frac bans is expected to reach the Governor

The Oklahoma House approved a bill 64-32 that would prevent local governments from enacting bans on hydraulic fracturing. Senate Bill 809 would leave local governments with the power to enact “reasonable ordinances” in regards to oil and gas activities, but would prohibit any outright bans. After passing the House, the bill was returned to the Senate for further consideration, where Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman says he expects the measure to pass, after which it will be sent to the governor.

According to the bill’s text, “A municipality, county, or other political subdivision may establish reasonable ordinances, rules, and regulations concerning road use, traffic, noise, … reasonable setbacks and fencing requirements for oil and gas well site locations as are reasonably necessary … but may not effectively prohibit, drilling, fracture stimulation, completion, production, maintenance, plugging and abandonment, produced water disposal, secondary recovery operations, flow and gathering lines or pipeline infrastructure.”

Opponents said the bill would hurt Oklahomans by taking away the ability of local officials to address concerns over drilling practices within their jurisdictions, reports News OK. Backers said any concerns that couldn’t be dealt with on the local level could be brought to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which has oversight of the oil and gas industry.

Carolyn Stager, executive director of the Oklahoma Municipal League, said the bill takes away regulatory power from those best suited to make those decisions. “Local municipal officials elected by people in the community are in the best position to make decisions affecting their specific municipalities,” she said. “The state Legislature can’t pass a cookie cutter piece of legislation that benefits every community.”

Arnella Karges, State Chamber vice president of government affairs, said the Senate Bill 809 provides an avenue for local governments to address health and safety concerns without sending the wrong message to an important industry through an outright frac ban. “We understand concerns about public safety and this bill provides those protections at the local level while also ensuring that one of the state’s key economic pillars can continue to use the modern techniques that have kept Oklahoma moving forward.”

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Important disclosures: The information provided herein is believed to be reliable; however, EnerCom, Inc. makes no representation or warranty as to its completeness or accuracy. EnerCom’s conclusions are based upon information gathered from sources deemed to be reliable. This note is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or financial instrument of any company mentioned in this note. This note was prepared for general circulation and does not provide investment recommendations specific to individual investors. All readers of the note must make their own investment decisions based upon their specific investment objectives and financial situation utilizing their own financial advisors as they deem necessary. Investors should consider a company’s entire financial and operational structure in making any investment decisions. Past performance of any company discussed in this note should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future results. EnerCom is a multi-disciplined management consulting services firm that regularly intends to seek business, or currently may be undertaking business, with companies covered on Oil & Gas 360®, and thereby seeks to receive compensation from these companies for its services. In addition, EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of these companies. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this note. EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of the companies covered in this report or on Oil & Gas 360®. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s reports or Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report.