Fallin boosts state's energy, confidence in speech to Rotarians
BY RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer
Thursday, May 10, 2012
5/10/12 at 4:32 AM
Gov. Mary Fallin told a group of Tulsa Rotarians on Wednesday that she wants to expand the reach of the state's strong energy sector, adding that business leaders are confident in Oklahoma's direction.
"We do believe that there are ways we can encourage our nation to utilize American-made energy," Fallin said in roughly a 30-minute address to the Rotary Club of Tulsa during a meeting at First Methodist Church. "... We have an abundance of natural gas."
Fallin said that she and 12 other governors have signed a memo of understanding that their states will purchase natural gas vehicles in bulk if American automakers begin to manufacture original-equipment vehicles that use that fuel.
"What's good about that is that you've got states finding solutions facing America, as it relates to job creation, as it relates to American-made energy, as it relates to frankly even national security... That's exciting."
During a discussion on commerce, Fallin said her office recently completed a 44-question survey of 5,500 businesses in the state. A total of 77 percent of the respondents said they felt "confident enough about where we're going as a state" to expand their businesses, she said. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents said they were going to add jobs in the immediate future, the governor said.
"That's good news for our state," Fallin said.
She drove home the importance of continuing to fund infrastructure such as roads and bridges and core services such as public safety. Fallin also spoke of simplifying the tax code.
"I've proposed that we take our seven different tax brackets down to three," she said.
Fallin drew strong applause when she mentioned the recent ban of tobacco products on state property.
"We currently rank 48th in the nation in health-indicator outcomes," she said. "Why should we care about that? Because if our people are unhealthy, they don't show up to work. We as taxpayers once again pay for those costs... "
Fallin's lunchtime remarks in Tulsa preceded her return to Oklahoma City to meet with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"I could go on and tell you a lot of other things, but I'm rushed for time here because I have to go back and see President Romney," she said. "... Now you know where I sit."
Original Print Headline: Fallin aims to boost state's energy sector
Rhett Morgan 918-581-8395