Oklahoma energy interests will have a friend in the state's new Republican governor when she takes office Jan. 10. Mary Fallin, the departing representative from Oklahoma's 5th congressional district, has been an advocate for home-grown energy and is the incoming chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC).
"I am excited to continue an Oklahoma tradition and chair the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission," Fallin said recently. "Oklahoma and its rich history of oil and gas production will help lead the way to developing our nation's natural resources in an environmentally sound way. Since 1935 the IOGCC has stood by their mission to promote the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment, I am honored to assist that mission as chair."
Fallin -- whose congressional district includes most of Oklahoma City, home to Chesapeake Energy Corp. -- will succeed Texas Gov. Rick Perry as IOGCC chair upon her inauguration as Oklahoma's first female governor. Perry remains governor of Texas, having been reelected in November.
"American-made energy is the key to ensuring America's energy independence, but we cannot reduce our reliance on foreign oil if this legislation becomes law," Fallin said in July when voicing her opposition to taxes on energy producers. "As the nation's third largest natural gas producer and fifth largest crude oil producer, we should encourage continued production of Oklahoma's abundant resources rather than tax and regulate them out of business. Oklahoma alone produces 61 million bbl of oil in our state's 80,000 active wells that we would otherwise have to import."
Governors of oil- and gas-producing states make up the membership of IOGCC. Established in 1935 by Oklahoma Gov. E.W. Marland, IOGCC is the oldest and largest interstate compact in the country. The IOGCC consists of 38 member states. Fallin will be the 16th Oklahoma governor to serve as IOGCC chair.
During her campaign for governor, Fallin focused on growing the economy, creating jobs and reducing government spending.
Fallin was elected to Congress in 2006 and again in 2008 and is the state's first female congressional representative since 1920.
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