OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Senate gave its approval to a bill that the author says would better protect Oklahomans in the case of another catastrophic winter storm. Senate Bill 1410, also known as the Oklahoma Emergency Energy Availability Act of 2022, would now require entities to have three sources of energy available for consumers.
Per the bill, “any agency, department, bureau, system of higher education, school district, township, or municipality within this state which has an energy policy in place or that chooses to develop an energy policy shall develop an emergency energy plan detailing methods or sources of energy during a state of emergency.”
On or after SB1410 goes into effect, if passed into law, any entity listed above that develops an emergency policy and an emergency energy plan would have to have power generated from at least three energy sources, included but not limited to biomass, coal, hydroelectricity, natural gas, hydrogen, nuclear, oil, solar, water, and wind.
The author of the bill, Senator Zack Taylor, R-District 28, stated in the Senate Energy Committee meeting on Feb. 10 that the bill is a preventive measure for the state.
“My belief is that if we’re not proactive on this, you are going to have municipalities that single source energy, and if we have municipalities that single source energy and we have another winter storm similar to Uri, they will be in trouble,” Sen. Taylor said in committee.
Sen. Taylor, referring to the devastating storm Oklahoma experienced back in February 2021, Winter Storm Uri, that caused major problems for Oklahomans. Sen. Taylor was a member of the energy investigative committee that investigated Uri.
“It has happened in other states. It did happen some in Texas, and we witnessed how catastrophic the winter storm was down there. With all that we learned through the investigative committee, I think it’s very important that we be proactive and not reactive in the state of Oklahoma,” Sen. Taylor said in committee. “…To me it’s consumer protection. It prevents us from being over reliant upon a source of energy that may not be the most reliable in times like winter storms.”
SB1410 was passed on the Senate floor with a 43-2 vote on Wednesday, February 16. It will now head to the House for consideration.
KFOR reached out to Sen. Taylor with questions regarding the logistics of how this bill would work. We will update this story upon his response.