The chairman of the state Senate’s energy, telecommunications and enviroment committee said Monday he will run for a six-year term on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Sen. Cliff Branan, an Oklahoma City Republican who is term-limited in the Senate, said promoting economic development and jobs will be among his priorities as corporation commissioner.
Branan is looking to replace Commission Chairwoman Patrice Douglas, who said last month she will run for Congress.
In the Legislature, Branan authored the Shale Reservoir Development Act, which modernized state law to allow the drilling of longer horizontal well bores in shale reservoirs. He was twice named “Legislator of the Year” by the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.
“What’s good for the energy industry is good for Oklahoma,” Branan said. “Our Oklahoma oil fields not only employ thousands of Oklahomans, but these jobs have an average salary in excess of $100,000 a year.”
Co-chairs of his campaign include Larry Nichols, executive chairman of Devon Energy Corp.; Greg Love, president of Love’s development companies; Brian Bingman, president pro tempore of the state Senate; and Harold Hamm, chief executive officer of Continental Resources Inc.
“Not only has Cliff Branan proven he understands the energy industry, but he has also shown he is committed to building Oklahoma’s economy for the benefit of everyone,” Nichols said in a statement.
As of Jan. 31, Branan had about $96,000 in a Senate campaign account that can be transferred to a new campaign. As a sitting legislator, he is prohibited by state law from raising campaign funds from lobbyists or groups hiring lobbyists during the legislative session and five days after it ends.
Filing for the race is from April 9-11. Primaries will be June 24, with any runoffs Aug. 26. The general election is Nov. 4.
The three-member Corporation Commission regulates oil and gas and utilities. It also oversees railroad crossings, trucking, cotton gins and tow trucks. Corporation commissioners earn an annual salary of $121,596.
CONTRIBUTING: Randy Ellis, Capitol Bureau