Warning that a national energy policy is "more important than
ever" in light of the war in Central Asia and tensions in the Middle
East, Denise Bode, chair of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission,
urged Oklahoma's U.S. senators to fight for passage of a national
In a letter sent to Sens. Don Nickles and Jim Inhofe, Bode
(right) noted that the pressure to create a national energy policy
has eased in recent months "as California's rolling blackouts faded
in our memories and gas prices eased," but warned that the
reliability of oil supplies "will be tested" in the ongoing war on
Bode noted that the U.S. State Department is discouraging travel
to five of the 11 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
and said "the fact that we depend on this region for much of our oil
She noted that the United States now receives 60 percent of its
oil from foreign sources.
On the domestic front, although prices of gasoline and natural
gas have fallen dramatically in recent weeks, Bode said that
situation could mean very high price spikes again in the future.
"The low energy prices of today could result in skyrocketing
prices in the near future, as current exploration and development
efforts as well as needed investment in pipelines, refineries and
other elements of our domestic energy infrastructure are hindered by
price and policy, thus setting the stage for another shortage," Bode
The possibility of supply disruptions from the Middle East,
coupled with a wildly swinging domestic market, could have
devastating implications for the United States.
"All this is to say we need our energy bill passed yesterday,"
She urged federal lawmakers to include a "safety net from
taxation" to encourage continued domestic production, similar to the
measure included in the energy bill that passed the U.S. House of
"Oklahoma has done its part in reducing taxation, foregoing tax
revenues to keep Oklahoma production alive during hard times for the
good of the whole country," Bode said. "Federal tax relief is also
She also stressed the need for weatherization programs to help
the poor deal with the wild energy prices swings that Americans "are
likely to face until we rebuild our domestic energy infrastructure."
Bode noted that low-income Oklahomans who want their homes
weatherized through programs offered by the Community Action
Agencies of Oklahoma often face a three-year wait.
Bode said the lack of a national energy policy and declining
levels of domestic production have indirectly aided the enemies of
the United States. …