“Wolf in sheep’s clothing” bill wins approval in OK House

A bill opposed by two Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners has won approval in the State House.

HB1556 passed in the House last week on a vote of 70-26. Proposed by Seminole Rep. Zack Taylor, the bill drew the ire of Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony who recently labeled it a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” a criticism that prompted Taylor to say therein lies the problem.

Taylor’s bill originally was designed to eliminate the position of General Administrator of the Corporation Commission, but then was changed to create a Director of the Commission.

Anthony was later joined by Commission Chairman Todd Hiett in opposing the measure. Anthony suggested the bill was an effort for the legislature to micromanage the agency and would result in a massive slowdown of regulatory action for major utilities in the state.

Commissioner’s Anthony was critical of the additional duties for an administrative director as listed in the bill and argued it would only lead to the commissioners being in lengthy meetings with the administrator, thus not holding public meetings on utility matters.

Rep. Taylor, who works with a family-owned oil company in Seminole admitted during a Rules Committee chairman he personally had experienced a problem with the administration of the Corporation Commission.