Do Feds Know Best? Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Summit Speakers Address Role of States in Energy Policy

Article excerpt

State and local agencies are the best equipped to write policies for developing state resources, energy industry experts said Tuesday at an annual summit hosted by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. However, another think tank said the federal government promotes energy policy that is best for the nation as a whole, and that protects consumers.

David Schnare, who previously worked on groundwater quality issues with the Environmental Protection Agency, told an audience of about 50 people at the Devon Energy Center that the only limit to energy independence is environmental regulation imposed by the EPA.

"Those who control energy control the economy and the nation," Schnare said.

He said a federalist model of energy policy allows for more creativity and entrepreneurialism in both environmental protection and energy supply. One issue with creating a uniform federal mandate for oil and gas drilling is that it doesn't deal with the geographical or topographical nuances across the country, said Jamie Maddy, regulatory director with Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Jim Roth, former Oklahoma Corporation Commission member and chairman of the alternative-energy practice group at Phillips Murrah, said that because Oklahoma has a long history of producing energy, it has learned its way to responsible production. …


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