The gross production tax rate has been the subject of ongoing debate during this legislative session, with some lawmakers insistent the rate should be increased.
Cantrell urged lawmakers not to raise taxes on the industry.
“The state of Oklahoma cannot afford to raise taxes on this industry, because when you raise taxes on this industry, you take money out of the economic engine that’s funding schools, that’s funding road projects, that’s building medical facilities,” Cantrell said.
Five lawmakers — Sens. Brian Bingman and Bryce Marlatt and Reps. Jeff Hickman, Leslie Osborn and John Trebilcock — expressed their support for the oil industry at Wednesday’s rally before the crowd went inside to lobby others.
Cantrell expressed confidence that lawmakers would continue to support the industry.
“They’re going to do what’s best for industry. Our job is merely to tell them our story, to give them some support.
“We’re benefitting every Oklahoman, not just our industry, when we keep drilling wells in Oklahoma, providing jobs, producing economic benefits in almost every community in the state.”
Unit Corp. executive Jim Greer said drilling activity in Oklahoma peaked in 2008 when there were 215 active rigs. The industry should surpass that figure this year, based on plans stated by public companies active in Oklahoma, he said. There currently are 193 rigs operating in Oklahoma.