Energy workers are considered “essential” in Governor’s order

When Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Sitt signed an order this week forcing the closure of all “non-essential” businesses in many counties, it left some puzzled as to the definition of what’s considered “essential.”

Energy operations are considered essential and that includes oil and gas operations as well as those maintaining the state’s extensive system of wind farms. The exemptions of the governor’s order also include those working in the solar and coal industries.

The governor’s memorandum issued this week allows the essential businesses to remain open during the 21-day closure period. His order applies to 27 counties where there are confirmed cases of COVID-19.

What’s non-essential?  Places like gyms, bars, movie theaters, salons and tattoo parlors.

The governor has a website where business owners can apply to be classified as “essential.” The site is

Surprisingly some businesses that are considered to be essential are liquor stores, public and private golf courses, vineyards and public parks.

All public safety workers are considered essential as are health care providers, medical marijuana dispensaries, manufacturers, family care providers, hotels, tag agencies, construction, plumbers, electricians and exterminators.