Bills Filed to Stop Local Bans on Oil and Gas Production

  • Joe Wertz
Pedestal Oil first proposed drilling at Lake Hefner in 2011, but the plan met stiff opposition from several groups.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Hundreds gathered at a public meeting in Oklahoma City to hear about an oil company's proposal to drill near Lake Hefner.

Several bills filed for the upcoming 2015 legislate session rein in the power cities and counties have to regulate drilling and oil and gas production.

The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports:

At least eight bills have been filed that would stop cities and counties from banning drilling operations, including proposals from top leaders in the House and Senate.

The bills at the Legislature would stop cities and counties from enacting bans on “drilling, completing, fracture stimulating or operations of oil and gas wells, or produced water disposal wells.” Local communities would still be able to impose limits on where drilling could take place.

As Monies reports, the legislation comes as some residents in communities — notably, Norman, Oklahoma City, Slaughterville and Stillwater — call for limits or bans on drilling, hydraulic fracturing or wastewater injection wells.

Environmentalists and concerned residents  have been emboldened by successful, high-profile municipal-level fracking bans in New York, Ohio and Denton, Texas.

The full list, via Monies:

The bills filed at the Legislature are: House Bill 1395 by Rep. Casey Murdock; HB 1722 by Rep. Leslie Osborn; HB 1954 by Rep. Weldon Watson; HB 2124 by Rep. Mark McBride; HB 2178 by House Speaker Jeff Hickman; Senate Bill 341 by Sen. Ron Justice; SB 468 by Sen. Bryce Marlatt; and SB 809 by Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman.