Since delivering the 2021 State-of-the-State address to Oklahomans on Feb. 1, Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed four executive orders.
The first mandate came a week after the address on Feb. 8 and is designed to protect Oklahoma energy from federal overreach. A press release from the governor’s office said it a little more bluntly. The executive order is, “to protect Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry from a Washington power grab.”
Executive Order 2021-03 highlights Oklahoma’s role as a global leader in energy production as well as the state’s successful “all of the above” strategy that has reduced carbon dioxide emissions to levels below the national average while producing the most affordable energy in the United States, said the document.
The order is critical of the Biden Administration’s attack on energy producing states like Oklahoma, specifically citing the federal overreach and dismissal of Oklahoma’s constitutional ability to properly determine how to best develop its own natural resources.
“Energy production is the backbone of Oklahoma’s economy,” said Gov. Stitt. “My executive order sends a clear message to the Biden Administration that threatening to destroy Oklahoma jobs and our constitutional ability to develop our oil and gas is unacceptable. We will not be passive in responding to systematic attacks on Oklahoma values.”
Propane during winter weather
A few days later on Feb. 10, Gov. Stitt issued an executive order to ensure Oklahomans will continue to have access to propane during the current stretch of winter weather.
The order suspends certain regulations for truck drivers who are transporting propane for the next 30 days to protect Oklahomans’ ability to stay warm during an extended period of extremely cold temperatures.
“I will continue to make sure red tape does not keep Oklahomans from the resources they need,” said Gov. Stitt.
Expedite renewals of driver’s licenses and IDs
Executive Order 2021-05, also signed on Feb. 10, directed the Department of Public Safety to expedite renewals or replacements of valid driver licenses and identification.
Specifically, the executive order will waive restrictions on tag agents to make it easier to obtain a driver’s license renewal, allow Oklahomans to obtain identification if a REAL ID is not available, allow Oklahomans to obtain a downgraded license, if necessary, and allow third parties to administer driver’s license examinations.
EDITOR’S NOTE: See related article in this issue.
Continue COVID-19 response
On Feb. 12, the governor signed Executive Order 2021-07 to continue the State of Oklahoma’s COVID-19 response.
The new order replaces Ninth Amended Executive Order 2020-20 and streamlines directives to state agencies and Oklahomans while still maintaining the various provisions necessary to try to manage the pandemic.