Berlin was having coffee at the sale barn this week where she ran across an ol' boy named Keith. Keith asked Berlin what she did when she wasn't raising stockers and she mentioned she's a landman. Keith looked a bit perplexed when he said "a landman? I thought you were a professional, like an accountant or doctor or some sh*t....
If Berlin was a betting woman, she would venture to guess that an organization with the words "Independent Petroleum Association" in the title and that represents itself as the unified voice and advocacy group for the Oklahoma oil and natural gas industry might support an independent producer in court proceedings against a municipality. In most cases, the bet would pay out, but not when the Independent Petroleum Association in question is the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association (the "OIPA")....
The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association claims to represent more than 2,500 individuals and companies from Oklahoma's oil and natural gas industry. It has been in the news quite often lately, usually labeled as the group who is blocking pay raises for teachers. It's Berlin's opinion, that this is the case. While the state government has failed its citizens, there is no doubt the actions of lobbyists have ultimately harmed the taxpayers. There is nothing that smells of crony "capitalism" more than a tax exempt organization lobbying for an already tax advantaged industry to pay even fewer taxes. Berlin despises the tax man as much as anyone else, however Berlin detests special treatment and rent seeking behavior even more. Oil and gas producers will continue to drill and develop oil and gas mineral rights as there are still hydrocarbons to be economically produced despite an increase in the production tax.
The OIPA has continued a negative campaign against anyone who opposes its agenda. It promotes such movements as Oilpatch Proud, as if the patch is more deserving of tax payer money than any other sector. In 2015, the OIPA spent nearly half of its revenues ($1.4m) on salaries. In addition, it spent $835k on "other expenses" which would include the actual lobbying and "educating" of our elected officials. Frightening, but not surprising that the calls from the OIPA for "more money to fight the wind lobby" are really pleas for higher compensation for themselves at the expense of nearly everyone else.
Berlin stands with the King.
More to follow,