Oklahoma Corporation Commission

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Oklahoma Corporation Commission
Seal of Oklahoma.svg
Great Seal of Oklahoma
Agency overview
Formed November 16, 1907
Headquarters Jim Thorpe Building
2101 N. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City
Employees 372 classified
95 unclassified
Annual budget $304 million (FY 2010)
Minister responsible Patrice Douglas, Chair of the Commission
Website Oklahoma Corporation Commission

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is the public utilities commission of the U.S state of Oklahoma run by three state-wide elected commissioners. Authorized to employ more than 400 employees, it regulates oil and gas drilling, utilities and telephone companies.

History[edit]

The commission was established in 1907 and the First Oklahoma Legislature gave the commission authority to regulate public service corporations.[1]

Railroad, telephone and telegraph companies were the companies first regulated by the commission, which also collected records of the stockholders, officers and directors of corporations chartered or licensed to do business in Oklahoma.[1] Record collection duties were later split; the commission keeping records only for public service companies.[1] The commission added pipelines, water, heat, light and power in early years.[1]

The commission began regulating oil and gas in 1914 and was given additional regulatory power over the industry the following year.[1]

Terms and qualifications[edit]

Candidates for the commission must be a citizen of Oklahoma for over two years before their election, at least 30 years of age and have no interest in any entity regulated by the commission.[2]

Commissioners serve a six-year term.[3] The terms are staggered so that one commissioner is up for re-election every two years, in even-numbered years. The chair of the commission is determined by the three commissioners.

In case of vacancy the Governor of Oklahoma appoints a replacement, to stand until the next general election.[3] The commissioner elected at that election will serve the remaining unexpired term, so as to maintain the staggered term system.[3]

Duties[edit]

The Commission regulates and enforces the laws and supervised the actives associated with:

  • The exploration and production of oil and gas
  • The storage and dispensing of petroleum based fuels
  • The establishment of rates and services of public utilities
  • The operation of intrastate transportation

Early emphasis for the commission was on regulation of railroad routes and rates. Through changes by the Legislature, and the change in services considered essential to the public welfare, the commission presently regulates public utilities, oil and gas industry (exploration, drilling, production and waste disposal), motor carrier transport, and petroleum products industry (transportation, storage, quality and dispensing). The commission also monitors a number of federal programs for compliance in Oklahoma. The commission also oversees the conservation of natural resources, avoiding waste production, abate pollution of the environment, and balancing the rights and needs of the people of Oklahoma with those of the regulated entities.

Membership[edit]

As of October 2011, the following are the members of the commission:

Member Officer Since Party
Bob Anthony Commissioner January 9, 1989 Republican
Patrice Douglas Chairman October 10, 2011 Republican
Dana Murphy Commissioner January 12, 2009 Republican

Governor of Oklahoma Mary Fallin appointed Patrice Douglas to the Corporation Commission to serve out the remainder of Jeff Cloud's term in office due to his resignation.[4]

Notable former members[edit]

  • J.C. Watts (member 1990-1995, chairman 1993-1995), resigned to successfully run for Congress
  • Jim Roth (member 2007-2009), first ever openly LGBT to hold a state-wide elected office in Oklahoma[5]
  • Jeff Cloud

Organization[edit]

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Oklahoma
  • Corporation Commission
    • Administration Division - responsible for providing central services to the Commission's division as well as direct support staff to the Commission members
      • Public Information Office
      • Finance Office
      • Human Resources Office
      • Administrative Programs Office
      • Office of the Secretary to the Commission
    • Administrative Hearings Office - responsible for overseeing all hearings and appeals of the Commission's regulations
    • Transportation Division - responsible for licensing and regulating commercial motor carriers, natural gas pipelines, and railroad companies, and administers the International Fuel Tax Agreement and International Registration Plan
      • Administrative and Regulatory Operations Unit
        • Administrative Support Department
        • Requirements Department
        • Enforcement Support Department
        • Safety Support Department
      • Field Operations Unit
        • Motor Carrier and Motor Vehicle Enforcement Department
        • Pipeline Safety Department
        • Railroad Department
      • IFTA/IRP Unit
        • IFTA/IRP Registration and Licensing Services Department
        • Technical Services Department
        • Audit Department
    • Oil and Gas Conservation Division - responsible for enforcing Commission rules that prevent pollution caused by oil and gas
      • Field Operations Department
        • District 1 Office - Bristow
        • District 2 Office - Kingfisher
        • District 3 Office - Duncan
        • District 4 Office - Ada
      • Pollution Abatement Underground Injection Control Department
      • Technical Services Department
    • Consumer Services Division - responsible for hearing complaints against regulated utilities and for overseeing appeals to the Commission members
      • Oil and Gas Complaints Department
      • Public Utility Complaints Department
      • Mineral Owners Escrow Account Department
      • Administrative Proceedings Office
    • Public Utilities Division - responsible for licensing and regulating electric power utilities, natural gas utilities, drinking water utilities, and telecommunications utilities
      • Regulatory and Administrative Oversight Department
      • Economic Analysis and Research Department
      • Financial Auditing Department
    • Petroleum Storage Tank Division - responsible for enforcing state and federal regulations and administers certain assistance programs applicable to the storage, quality, and delivery of refined petroleum products
      • Accounting Department
      • Administration Department
      • Compliance and Inspection Department
      • Technical Department
    • Information Technology Division - responsible for overseeing all information technology used by the Commission
    • Office of the General Counsel - responsible for providing legal advice to the Commission
      • Agency Counsel Section
      • Consumer Services Section
      • Deliberations Section
      • Petroleum Storage Tank/Transportation Section
      • Oil and Gas Section
      • Public Utilities Section

Staffing[edit]

The commission, with an annual budget of over $60 million, is one of the larger employers of Oklahoma state government. For fiscal year 2012, the commission was authorized 430 full-time employees, but experience numerous vacancies.[6]

Division Number of Employees Budget (in millions)
Administration Division 34 $4.4
Consumer Services Division 17 $1.4
Petroleum Storage Tank Division 55 $9.2
Oil and Gas Conservation Division 123 $15
Administrative Hearings Office 35 $3.4
Public Utilities Division 33 $5.2
Office of Legal Services 26 $2.7
Transportation Division 131 $16.2
Information Technology 26 $2.8
Total 480 $60.2

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Annual Report - History and Responsibilities (accessed May 22, 2013)
  2. ^ Section IX-16, Oklahoma Constitution Online (accessed May 22, 2013)
  3. ^ a b c Section IX-15, Oklahoma Constitution Online (accessed May 22, 2013)
  4. ^ http://okgop.com/patrice-douglas-appointed-to-corporation-commission/
  5. ^ "Oklahoma Gov. appoints first openly gay statewide official". Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. 2007-05-14. Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  6. ^ Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report, Oklahoma Corporation Commission (accessed May 22, 2013)

External links[edit]