Regulatory policy

On energy policy, Hofmeister distances himself from Biden

As Governor Kevin Stitt tried to tie his Democratic opponent to President Joe Biden’s energy policies, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister sought to distance herself on Wednesday, saying she was “concerned” about some of Biden’s positions.

Hofmeister and Stitt shared the stage for the first time ahead of next month’s general election at the Oil Alliance candidates’ forum on Wednesday, where the discussion focused on energy policy.

During the event, Stitt took shots at Biden and what he called the president’s “failed” energy policies. Hofmeister took a similar path, criticizing Biden and his “rhetoric.”

“We need more energy, not less,” Hofmeister said. “I’m very concerned about the rhetoric we’re hearing from the Biden administration.”

Not making an enemy of the oil and gas industry is “huge,” said Jackson Lisle, a pollster at Amber Integrated, an Oklahoma City-based political consultancy.

The oil and gas industry accounts for more than 90,000 jobs in the state, Lisle said. With the industry’s prominence in Oklahoma and the faltering economy, it would likely be detrimental for candidates to come across as anti-oil and gas, Lisle said. The border.

According to a recent poll by Amber Integrated, 32% of voters said the economy and inflation were the most important issues to them.

“Every candidate needs to talk about what they’re going to do and how it’s best for the people of Oklahom, especially when it comes to people’s livelihoods,” he said.

Hofmeister went on Wednesday, saying Biden and Stitt “didn’t do enough” when it came to advancing energy independence, referring to the “hundreds of wells that aren’t online” and the absence of a “comprehensive energy plan” for the next time Oklahoma experiences a polar vortex.

Many of Hofmeister’s views run counter to those of the National Democratic Party, which seeks to drastically cut emissions and cut U.S. oil and natural gas production while switching to cleaner alternatives and offering tax incentives for the clean energy and increasing regulation. But, despite the party’s move toward net-zero emissions and clean energy, Hofmeister isn’t convinced that exists.

“We know that zero-emission energy does not exist. Think of electric cars, zero-emission cars, they emit emissions when they’re made, when they’re transported, when they’re shipped,” Hofmeister said. “…When we think of clean energy or dirty energy, it doesn’t exist. There is nothing clean about not having access to energy 24/7.

Hofmeister also voiced support for energy independence, saying “we must stand up for the fact that American energy independence is American safety and security.”

“We know this industry, the energy sector, has been under attack and I sympathize. You are essential to moving our state’s economy forward and you cannot be vilified or demonized,” she said. .

These Hofmeister comments came the same day Stitt released his first attack announcement, trying to tie her to Biden’s energy policies. In the ad, the narrator says, “Joe Biden is crushing the oil and gas industry, and he has an accomplice in Oklahoma – Joy Hofmeister.”

The announcement refers to the fact that in 2018, Hofmeister supported an increase in the gross production tax on oil and gas to help raise teachers’ salaries amid the historic teachers’ strike.

“The recent ad claiming that I support Joe Biden’s energy policy and would join the attacks on Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry is false,” she said in a statement. “If Stitt is attacking me for working with energy leaders in 2018 to raise teacher salaries, then he must also attack the Republican majority in the state legislature that followed the proposal – which helped to give our children the support they need.”

Despite Hofmeister’s criticism of Biden and attempts to distance himself from the president, Stitt said he still doesn’t think it would be difficult to tie her to the president because “she joined Biden’s party.” and Democrats “all vote at the same rate” with him.

Biden is unpopular in Oklahoma, a state where all 77 counties voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020. A recent SoonerPoll poll showed just 39.3% of Oklahomans have a favorable opinion of the president and 58.8% have an unfavorable opinion of him.

The oil and gas industry is a dominant force in Oklahoma, as the state is the third largest supplier of natural gas to the United States, according to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and the industry brings in billions of dollars each year to the state.

Although none of the major energy companies or organizations have endorsed a candidate in the race, some have donated thousands of dollars to Stitt’s campaign in this election, including Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s PAC, Marathon Petroleum PAC, The Petroleum Alliance PAC and Continental Resources PAC.

None of the PACs from these organizations gave to Hofmeister.