Bellmon Seeks Meeting with Reagan, Governors on Energy Policy
Tipton, David, THE JOURNAL RECORD
Gov. Henry Bellmon and several other governors across the country are hoping a meeting can be arranged with President Ronald Reagan in approximately a month to discuss a national energy policy, according to Sam Armstrong, the governor's press secretary.
The plan for a meeting with the president culminated from the National Governor's Association meeting in Michigan held last weekend and the early part of this week. Bellmon served on a special committee on energy which was attended by approximately half a dozen governors from energy and non-energy producing states.
In that meeting, it was decided that Gov. Bill Clements of Texas would send a letter to the White House requesting a meeting with the president, sometime around the first of September. The purpose of the meeting, which basically would be between Reagan and some of the members of the governor association's energy committee, is to establish a nonpartisan group made up not just of governors or other state officials, but citizens as well.
Bellmon has been concerned that the U.S. has once again become too dependent on foreign oil supplies, which could lead to inflated fuel prices experienced in the 1970s, while domestic energy companies are struggling to survive. The ultimate goal of having the nonpartisan group involved in the issue is so a national energy policy - one which might put into effect such items as an oil import fee - could be developed and adopted by the president.
The energy committee meeting, which was held in Michigan on Monday, was attended by governors from consumer states, such as New Hampshire, as well as producer states. . .
State Chamber List Not Surprising The Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and Industry released its latest newsletter this week which includes a section on the highlights and lowlights of the 1987 session of the Oklahoma Legislature.
There were really no suprises of the items which made either list. Among the items which made the highlights list were the Oklahoma Economic Recovery Act of 1987, the Small Business Incubators Act - which also includes a provision for an investment tax credit for certain businesses which hire new employees as a result of a purchase of qualified depreciable property - and the $275 million revenue package which includes a 6 cent a gallon gasoline tax increase.
The list of lowlights did not contain measures or actions the Legislature took which the chamber did not like; rather, it included a list of bills for which state lawmakers for one reason or another did not take all the way through the legislative process.
At the top of the list, for instance, was the comprehensive tort reform bill, which among other things, was designed to set a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, in civil liability suits. The bill died earlier this year in the Oklahoma Senate Rules Committee.
Other bills that died on the vine this session were ones which included a right-to-work provision, products liability reform and elimination of Oklahoma's Little Davis-Bacon Act, the state's prevailing wage law.
In September, state chamber members will be given a chance to state what they feel are top state issues which should be addressed by the Legislature next year.
The 1988 Legislative Planning Summit will be held Sept. 20-21 at the Marriott Hotel, 3233 Northwest Expressway.
Last year was the first year in which the chamber held a planning summit. Over 200 members and business leaders in the state attended to help plan the 1987 program of work. Chamber leaders are hoping for the same results this year.
Chamber members are being asked to pick the top six issues out of 19 on the state level. Those state level issues include: ad valorem tax reform, air quality control, capital formation, common education, higher education, industry incentives, hazardous waste, labor law, medical cost containment, prevailing wage, political action committee, product liability, right to work, solid waste, tort reform, unemployment compensation, water development, water quality and workers' compensation. …