OKLAHOMA CITY – The governor on Monday signed into law a measure that would require the state to divest from any financial company that boycotts the energy industry.
House Bill 2034, the Energy Discrimination Elimination Act of 2022, is authored by Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore.
"Oklahoma is the state that fossil fuels built," McBride said. "For more than 100 years, Oklahoma has been a major oil and gas producing state. While we've diversified to include other energy sources, our economy and thousands of Oklahoma jobs are connected to the oil and gas industry. It must be protected from global movements and liberal ideologies that seek to disrupt or even stop it."
Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, is the principal Senate author of the bill.
“Oil and gas is the backbone of our state’s economy, and it’s crucial that we do all in our power to fully support this industry,” Allen said. “I’m proud to have carried this measure that will make our state free of discrimination against the fossil fuel industry, and am glad my colleagues see the importance of standing up against corporations that put political ideology ahead of the interests of our taxpayers, shareholders and residents.”
HB2034 requires the state treasurer to maintain and provide to each state governmental entity a list of financial companies that boycott energy companies. These entities must then notify the treasurer of the listed financial companies in which they own direct or indirect holdings.
The entity also must send a written notice to the financial company warning that it may become subject to divestment and offer the company the opportunity to clarify its activities. A state governmental entity must rid itself of at least 50% of the assets of a listed financial company within 180 days of the financial company receiving notice and 100% of the assets within 360 days after notice unless a loss of assets can be proven.
Entities also must report to the treasurer, the Legislature and the state's attorney general any securities sold, redeemed, divested, or withdrawn from a listed financial company.
HB2034 takes effect Nov. 1.