Mike Cantrell is a well-connected oilman from Ada, OK. His interests in banking, finance, and other ventures will be impacted by the reforms he is advocating. Yet, in the end, he boldly calls on other industries in the state to follow the lead of his beleaguered fellow petroleum producers.
Will the legislators stand up to corporate, trade, and union special interests?
Yes, they will; IF (and this is a big 'if') they have the support of the voters.
Right wing circles often decry the government handouts given to the low-income and disabled. But the really big recipients of state gifts are multi-billion dollar corporate interests.
It's not often that Oklahoma gets a corporate leader like Cantrell who gives honest answers to dire problems. Now it's up to us to back him up.
Cantrell issued the following press release after the Oklahoma senate adopted the austere cuts in petroleum tax credits which he advocated.
From: Mike Cantrell
Yesterday the Oklahoma state senate voted to end the at-risk well provisions for marginal wells.
While it is in the state's best interest to fix legislation that was intended to save marginal wells ( and not throw the baby out with the bath water )it was a bold and courageous first step.
But, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. The state's largest industry should lead but not be singled out.
The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association offered a very good compromise by offering to cap the provision at 25 million ( this year's estimated cost is 136 million) and offered to apply it only to marginal wells,which would keep the very large companies from applying.
That way we would keep the wells this was intended to save and cost the state 110 million dollars less.
Now, all other interest currently taking tax advantages at the expense of the state's treasury should offer similar compromises or they should be sacrificed on the alter of fiscal responsibility.
I don't know whether this compromise will be ultimately accepted or not , but both Senator Brian Bingman and the OIPA should be commended for their courage and willingness to do what's best for our state.
The oil and gas industry has historically provided up to 30% of the states budget. This dependence has put us in the crisis we find ourselves in as oil prices have fallen by 2/3s.
By putting the sacrifice on one industry- currently on its knees- legislators would be making the state even more dependent on the states largest industry .
Theodore Roosevelt said " it's always best to do the right thing, the next best thing is to do the wrong thing , the worst thing is to do nothing"
I'm hopeful that our states leaders do the " most right thing"