Speaking at the GPA Midstream Midcontinent Chapter Annual Conference in Tulsa, Okla. Gov. Kevin Stitt discussed the importance of what midstream companies do to provide affordable energy, as well as his efforts to support the industry in Oklahoma, with U.S. President Joe Biden and with the U.S. Congress.
Just back from SelectUSA, a U.S. Department of Commerce program promoting job-creating business investment in the U.S., Stitt told attendees that reliable and affordable energy are critical advantages for U.S. businesses and America's security.
"All of these CEOs and industry leaders from Europe talked about having to pay three times what we pay in Oklahoma in utility costs," Stitt said. "In 11 out of the last 15 quarters, Oklahoma had the most affordable energy in the U.S. That's a huge competitive advantage for us."
Stitt credited the 180 attendees at the event with providing the state's vast energy resources.
"We produce 65% more energy than we consume in Oklahoma," Stitt said. "We're a net exporter to the Southwest power pool and key to a reliable, affordable grid. That's important to our state and to our neighbors."
Stitt said he was focused on making sure Oklahoma continues to stand out as an energy leader. Recently, he signed a memo of understanding with the governors of Louisiana and Arkansas to get a $2 billion grant to research commercialization of hydrogen.
"We have our universities looking at pipelines and how we can move what might be another important energy source for our country," Stitt said.
As part of his efforts to support the oil and gas industry, Stitt uses his position on the executive committee for the National Governors Association to engage President Biden and his administration in an honest conversation about the value of oil and gas.
"I got a chance to talk to the president," Stitt said. "I told him to take his foot off the brake [when it comes to oil and gas]. Let's let Oklahoma companies and American companies innovate and meet the needs of Americans. We all want cheaper electricity costs for our citizens. We all want cheaper prices at the gas pump. But you cannot keep trying to pick winners and losers."
Stitt went on to discuss his efforts to make sure the state of Oklahoma ranks in the top 10 of key economic and quality of life metrics among the 50 U.S. states. That includes creating a savings fund for the state (which he's grown from zero to more than $6 billion, he said), and using a $1.2 billion budget surplus to invest in education and lower taxes.
He sees the midstream and the oil and gas industry as a critical component.
"Your industry is unbelievable," he said. "Our state has been a pioneer and innovator. We're top 10 in oil and gas production, and we're leaders in storage and transportation. We feed the world, we fuel the world, and we defend freedoms around the world."
The governor's appearance was a highlight in an educational conference hosted by the GPA Midstream Midcontinent Chapter. In addition to networking opportunities and the chance to meet with exhibitors, attendees heard presentations on topics, including, LNG: Another Time of Change, Energy Security in the Age of Energy Transition, Monetary vs. RSV Reality, The Control Conundrum: Paycheck Scenarios for Flare Control, and The Gas Mega Rule: What you need to know.
Recordings of the presentations will be available from the chapter in the coming weeks.