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Mindy Stitt: Energy industry works to protect our environment

Across our nation, we hear a lot of talk about needing to do more to protect our environment. But in Oklahoma, we take action. The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas are on the cutting edge of developing newer and cleaner energy technologies that reduce emissions and keep our economy moving. And it’s working.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we have reduced carbon dioxide emissions from our power sector by 37% since 2011, thanks to natural gas. We’ve slashed smog levels in our largest cities. We’ve also proven that we can reduce emissions while still growing the economy. Over that same time period, natural gas production in Oklahoma increased by more than 55% and oil production increased by nearly 150%.

Working together, we’ve made our communities cleaner and healthier. Technologies like horizontal drilling have drastically decreased the environmental footprint of a well pad. Companies can now drill multiple wells from just one site. All companies that operate in Oklahoma follow stringent regulations and often take additional measures to go above and beyond.

For an example of how the people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas voluntarily and actively clean our land, look no further than our well site cleanup program. Today’s producers and royalty owners have paid more than $133 million to date to clean thousands of orphaned or abandoned historic well sites, most left between 50 and 100 years ago. In fact, we recently removed a wooden tank in Rogers County that was left 120 years ago. No other state in the nation has an industry paying to remove leftover debris they were not responsible for leaving. The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas do it because it’s the right thing to do.

While most people like to talk about making the environment cleaner, what we are doing is already working for our state. When it comes to our environment and keeping our communities healthy and safe, Oklahomans don’t sit around and wait. We act, because this our home.