The Sierra Club of Oklahoma will hold their annual Lobby Day at the Oklahoma state Capitol on Wednesday, April 8 in Oklahoma City. Supporters will gather at 10 a.m. in Room 412a.
Sierra Club members will spend the morning lobbying their legislators on behalf of issues important to assuring Oklahoma remains a clean, green, and safe State for all of its citizens.
Johnson Bridgwater, director of the Oklahoma Sierra Club said, “Oklahoma Sierra Club does NOT oppose all issues associated with wind energy being addressed this session — we are, for instance, supportive of reasonable setbacks and reasonable decommissioning language in instances where the wind energy sector sees a need for change.
“However, bills that we do oppose single out wind energy in ways that other businesses who also receive these same types of benefits are not being targeted for.
“Our number one concern this session is related to bills aiming to silence local government — House Bill 2178 and Senate Bill 809– when it comes to their right to govern oil and gas within their own jurisdictions. Statutes and constitutional language already exist that make it clear that Oklahoma cities and towns should have the right to regulate oil and gas on all matters when it concerns their own backyards.
As part of Oklahoma Sierra Club’s 2015 Lobby Day, Representative Cory Williams, Representative Emily Virgin, and Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal will all speak at a press conference at 1 p.m. in the 4th floor Media Room #432B, on the issue of legislation aimed at limiting local government power regarding oil and gas activity in their districts and communities.
“SB809 and HB2178 both seek to strike down existing statute (Title 52.137), which currently gives cities and towns the right to regulate oil and gas activities in their communities,” Bridgwater said. “If a new law is created based on these bills, cities and towns will have to relinquish their powers to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
“In light of dramatic earthquake activity in Oklahoma in recent years, Oklahoma Sierra Club believes cities and towns should be afforded the continuing right to regulate oil and gas activity as they have been able to by law for many decades,” Bridgwater added.
Also joining the Sierra Club will be Cynthia Armstrong, State Director for the Humane Society of the United States, who will speak on issues surrounding HJR1012, the “Right to Farm” bill.
For more information, contact Johnson Bridgwater at 405-902-2288.