Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

New Secretary of Energy and Environment Has No Oil Experience, Says Oklahoma Oil Lobby

Gov. Mary Fallin on Aug. 16 appointed Col. Michael Teague as secretary of energy and environment.

Fallin’s choice for the cabinet position — which was created by combining the vacant offices of secretaries of energy and environment — was immediately criticized by the president of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, the state’s largest industry trade organization.

The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports:

“The selection process and decision are confusing and questionable. It’s unprecedented for Oklahoma’s energy secretary to have no working knowledge in the oil and natural gas sector,” Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association President Mike Terry said in a statement.

“We are at a unique era in Oklahoma’s history as an energy-producing state. Crude oil production is on the rise after decades of decline. The true potential of our natural gas resources is still waiting to be harnessed. It is difficult to see how a secretary of energy with no working knowledge of the oil and natural gas industry can effectively drive discussions and policy decisions on legislation and regulation that impact the state’s most vibrant industry.”

The Governor’s Office defended Teague, the former Tulsa District commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, the paper reports:

“He’s absolutely familiar with the idea of using natural resources actively to our advantage, but doing so in a way that protects the environment and is environmentally sustainable,” [said spokesman Alex] Weintz.

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  • Stephen Willis

    Does Mr. Teague have experience with solar, wind and geothermal energy? Under his command, Corps of Engineers’ general counsel stated that the segmenting of Lake Texoma State Park into phases, to facilitate the privatization and development of that federally-protected park land, was NOT a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). When Governor Fallin and Oklahoma Tourism Secretary Deby Snodgrass abandoned the Pointe Vista Development EIS in late 2011, neither they, nor the Corps of Engineers announced to media they had done so. Mr. Teague has appeared along with Fallin and Snodgrass in media events promoting the Pointe Vista, although the developer has no federal environmental approvals. He appears to be quite suitable for photo ops and public relations events between state and federal officials flacking for Aubrey McClendon’s Pointe Vista development.

  • Lisa D

    Every farmer, rancher, hunte, fisherman aka outdoorsman or woman should question the governors choice of consolidation, privatization, and destruction of our states greatest resources! We can see her end game now of pillaging our states resources, leaving others to slowly build our heritage backup from the political carpetbagger! No wonder we do not trust government or politicians!

  • fox

    how much tax credits did aubrey mclemdon hide?

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