WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) this week was honored with the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association’s (OIPA) “2008 Friend of the Wildcatter” award for his service to Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry. Inhofe, who serves as ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has long supported efforts to increase domestic production.
The award recognizes Inhofe as “ ‘Friend of the Wildcatter’ for voting consistently in the 110th Congress to grow the economy, protect Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry jobs, and increase domestic exploration and production.”
“It’s a real honor to serve the people of Oklahoma and the men and women working in the domestic energy industry,” said Inhofe. “America’s independent oil and natural gas producers are working every day to make our nation more energy secure. I’m proud to support policies that encourage the United States to develop its oil and natural gas resources right here at home. Our economy demands it. Our grandchildren deserve it.”
Senator Inhofe has consistently worked to further develop domestic sources for oil and natural gas exploration and production and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens. In the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Senator Inhofe enacted language to deny efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to supersede the authority of States and establish broad regulatory control over the industry practice of hydraulic fracturing. He also secured passage of provisions to clarify Congressional intent concerning the Clean Water Act's regulatory reach over uncontaminated storm water discharges from exploration and production sites. Additionally, Inhofe has repeatedly passed temporary suspensions of the net income limitation on percentage depletion allowance for oil and natural gas wells and has introduced legislation for its complete elimination, encouraging the continued production from marginal wells.
OIPA is the state's largest oil and gas advocacy group, representing more than 1,700 member companies in the crude oil and natural gas exploration/production industry or affiliated businesses. According to the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, the total economic output of Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry is estimated to be more than $23 billion. Roughly 60,000 Oklahomans work directly in energy related jobs with the industry supporting indirectly an additional 186,000 jobs.