Monday, December 16, 2013
By Adam Wilmoth
After three months on the job, Oklahoma Energy and Environment Secretary Michael Teague said combining the two offices has been positive for the state.
“It's been a huge advantage,” Teague said Friday. “Just the idea you have one office to sort through and take on these issues and one office that's the point of contact with our federal agency counterparts, that's a huge advantage.”
Teague spoke Friday at the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association, which until Thursday was known as the Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association of Oklahoma.
Gov. Mary Fallin appointed Teague as secretary of the combined energy and environment office in August, after both Energy Secreting Mike Ming and Environment Secretary Gary Sherrer stepped down earlier in the year.
Teague said he has spent much of the past three months touring the state, visiting drilling operations in western Oklahoma, storage tanks and pipelines in Cushing, the Phillips 66 refinery in Ponca City.
Teague, who previously served as Tulsa District commander for the Army Corps of Engineers, said this year was the first time in decades that he was not serving in the military on Veteran's Day.
“The last time I was in civilian clothes on Veterans Day, we were facing an oil embargo. Now we're talking about energy independence,” he said at the energy industry trade association luncheon. “Without what you're doing now and what you have done for years, we would not have the economy we have in this country today.”
Representatives from the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association spent much of the day listening to state regulators and representatives from various state agencies.
“The goal for the meeting is to make sure we get everyone together to review where we've been on important issues and figure out where we're going and get an idea of what the next year's going to hold on important regularity, environment and tax issues,” association President Chad Warmington said. “I think we accomplished that today.”
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