Oklahoma Energy Regulations
In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is the public utilities commission that regulates oil and gas drilling, production and environmental protection, the safety aspects of motor carrier, rail and pipeline transportation, and the environmental integrity of petroleum storage tank systems. The commission also administers federal regulations for underground injection of water and chemicals, underground disposal of certain oil and gas waste fluids, and remediation of soil and groundwater pollution caused by leaking petroleum products storage tanks.
Generally, the commission regulates prices and services provided by three investor-owned electric utilities, namely, Empire District Electric Company, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, and Public Service Company of Oklahoma. These companies provide retail electric service to most of the state. However, state law prevents the commission from regulating any government operated electric utility such as the Grand River Dam Authority, or cities, which are members of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority.
The commission further regulates and administers the laws and monitors the actives associated with:
- oil and gas exploration and production;
- petroleum based fuel storage and dispensing;
- intrastate transportation operation; and
- establishment of rates and services of public utilities.
In like manner, the commission also regulates prices and service reliability for investor-owned natural gas utilities such as Arkansas-Oklahoma Gas Corporation, CenterPoint Energy Company, Ft. Cobb Fuel Authority, LeAnn Gas Company, Oklahoma Natural Gas, Panhandle Natural Gas Incorporated, and West Texas Gas Company.
The Oil and Gas Division of the Commission provides for the development of oil and gas resources of the state in a fair and orderly manner, while protecting the environment and ensuring public safety. For this purpose the division provides information, permitting, investigation, and compliance services to the oil and gas industry, mineral interests, landowners, and to the general public.
The safe transportation of natural gas, petroleum, and other hazardous materials by pipeline is ensured through the commission’s Pipeline Safety Department. Likewise, the commission’s Petroleum Storage Tank Division (PSTD) enforces the state and federal regulations pertaining to storage, quality, and delivery of gasoline and other fuels. PSTD performs its functions through its four departments namely, the Accounting Department, Administrative Department, Compliance and Inspection Department, and Technical Department.
Further, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce promotes the growth of knowledge-based industries such as biosciences, engineering, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, renewable energy, and information technology, to ensure quality jobs today and in the future in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) ensures a clean, attractive, and prosperous Oklahoma through the administration of general environmental protection regulations.