The Edmond Sun

July 20, 2012

OUR VIEW: U.S. energy policy needs work

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas recently told a congressional committee that one-size-fits-all regulation of the energy sector actually can be counterproductive.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sponsored a congressional hearing in Edmond titled “America’s Energy Future Part 1: A Review of Unnecessary and Burdensome Regulations.” State officials and energy-sector leaders gave testimony about what federal regulations are doing to the state’s efforts to promote its top industry.

While we believe more can be done to promote “green energy,” it’s also not realistic to put all our federal eggs or dollars in that one basket when the green energy industry itself admits it will be 20 years or longer before the infrastructure is in place to make it a major national energy player.

In the meantime, Congress should look more closely at how Oklahoma has managed its energy resources and its energy legacy. Few will argue that America should not do more to be as energy independent as possible, but we have to accomplish that goal in a responsible and ethical way. That means not allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to fine and regulate existing power plants out of existence before a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative is in place.

What’s good for Oklahoma energy policy can be good for energy policy elsewhere if those in Washington care to listen. Edmond was honored to be the site of a congressional hearing on a matter of such importance to our state. We hope those committee members are able to inform their fellow congressional members that states really are in the best position to regulate these industries and that we’re willing to work for the common good.