Special to The Sun
OKLA. CITY —
Gov. Mary Fallin announced Friday the appointment of Col. Michael Teague to the position of secretary of energy and environment. Teague will begin in his new role on Sept. 3.
The position of secretary of energy and environment is new, combining the positions of secretary of energy, previously held by Michael Ming, and secretary of environment, previously held by Gary Sherrer.
Fallin said the two policy areas are linked, making it practical to combine them under one cabinet post.
“Strong energy policy is strong environmental policy,” Fallin said. “In Col. Teague’s new role, his mission will be to help develop policies that encourage energy exploration and production as well as responsible environmental stewardship. His years of experience dealing with energy production and distribution, infrastructure development and water management will serve him well as Oklahoma’s first secretary of energy and environment. I am proud to have him on my team.”
Col. Michael Teague of Bixby is the former Tulsa District commander of the Army Corps of Engineers. The Tulsa district covers parts of three states, ranging from southern Kansas to north Texas, and includes all of Oklahoma. As district commander, Teague oversaw more than 700 employees in engineering, construction and operations, as well as an annual budget of $700 million. He held this position from 2010 until July of 2013. Teague is retiring from the military at the end of this month.
The Army Corps of Engineers emphasizes environmental sustainability and is involved in numerous water infrastructure projects around the country. Throughout his career, Teague has dealt with power generation and distribution, water desalinization, and environmental impact studies. He has facilitated and negotiated numerous solutions regarding federal and state agencies, tribes, and local stakeholders and has acted as a liaison between the Tulsa District and the United States Congress.
“Energy exploration and production are the greatest drivers of Oklahoma’s job growth and economic success,” Teague said. “I am thrilled to be in a position to help develop and implement statewide policies, such as the governor’s Oklahoma First Energy plan, that encourage the responsible production of Oklahoma’s natural resources.”
Before serving as Tulsa District commander, Teague served as the director of engineering for the Third U.S. Army Central (ARCENT), where he was responsible for supporting all U.S Army units in the Middle East. Teague also has served as the commander for the 52nd Engineer Battalion in Ft. Carson, Colorado and Mosul, Iraq. As battalion commander, Teague was the chief executive officer of a 600-person engineering and construction organization in support of the 101st Airborne Division as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Teague is the current president of the Tulsa Post of the Society of American Military Engineers.
His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medals, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal and the Combat Action and Parachutist Badges.
Teague received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Norwich University in Northfield, VT., where he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He also received a master’s degree in operations analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School and a master’s in national security and strategic studies at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I.