Oil and gas critic announces he’s leaving the legislature

A legislator known for his criticism of the oil and gas industry has announced he will not seek re-election. The announcement came this week from Oklahoma state Rep. David Perryman of Chickasha, a Democrat with a dislike for the energy industry.

“After much consideration I have decided not to seek reelection in 2020,” he said in the news release. “I am so thankful for my wife, Jo, and my children who have supported me during my terms in  the Legislature and who have covered so many personal obligations that have allowed me to faithfully and diligently serve the people of District 56.”

Perryman was the House Minority Floor leader who was first elected to the legislature in 2012. Political observers say his decision could create more than the usual contest for the seat that covers parts of Caddo, Grady and Kiowa counties.

His decision might result in monetary support from the energy industry for a Republican candidate supportive of oil and gas. In early July, Rep. Perryman’s latest attack on the industry accused the state government for being too supportive of oil and gas.

“Allowing the oil and gas industry to destroy our highways, roads and streets and proliferate the occurrences of earthquakes has placed a repair burden on counties and municipalities that they cannot pay,” he wrote.

“Barring the ability of local government to protecting their citizens from the devastating effects of oil and gas drilling activities adjacent to their homes has collectively reduced residential property values by millions of dollars,” charged the Democratic legislator.