Mid-July hearing on next step in lawsuit challenging Oklahoma’s Energy Act


The Oklahoma County District Court judge who temporarily suspended enforcement of Oklahoma’s Energy Discrimination Elimination Act has set a hearing for mid-July on a request for a possible conclusion of the lawsuit that led to her suspension.

District Judge Sheila Stinson set a a hearing for July 19 on the request by Don Keenan, the former President of the Oklahoma Public Employees Association, who sued State Treasurer Todd Russ over his enforcement of the law boycotting financial firms that discriminate against the oil and gas industry.

On May 28, Keenan’s lawyer, former legislator Collin Walke, asked for a partial summary judgment in determining the law is unconstitutional. He asked the judge to extend her temporary injunction and issue a permanent injunction to prevent enforcement of the Act.

Walke has claimed if the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System were forced to divest any of its holdings from boycotted firms, it would cost OPERS $10 million.

Monday was the deadline for the state to respond but Oklahoma Solicitor General Garry Gaskins II asked for an extension because of conflicting court cases. He explained his request was not intended to delay proceedings and was made in good faith. The AG dismissed the private-practice attorneys who had been hired by Treasurer Russ and assumed control of the case.