The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on HB 1379, authored by Rep. Taylor (HD-28), on Tuesday (Feb. 26) at 3 p.m. In short, this bill will have a crippling impact on new oil and natural gas development, while flooding the Oklahoma court system with a series of unnecessary litigation.
Rep. Taylor’s legislation places all responsibility to secure wellbores on the active producer, none on the well operator, regardless of the bore’s integrity. Eliminating the well operator’s liability and placing it on an active operator, who does not have legal authority to secure the well, unnecessarily creates environmental risk and places an unreasonable burden on active producers.
This legislation could dramatically reduce exploration and production activity (and corresponding gross production tax revenue) to provide a specific benefit for a small group of well operators, who generate very little economic activity in relation to the active producers, and have a remedy – through the district courts – already in place.
Our industry has been the largest taxpayer in Oklahoma for decades – and responsible production has even led to a projected budget surplus. This bill has the potential to erase the economic progress we have made.
HB 1379 would:
- Dramatically reduce exploration and production in the state;
- Result in a loss of much-needed GPT revenue that helps fund schools;
- Cause significant environmental impacts; and
- Create confusion on the judicial system with unnecessary litigation.
Join us in encouraging House judiciary members to vote NO.