Executive Director's Report
Tom Palace, 2nd Quarter Newsletter
We had great attendance at the 2021 Mid-Year meeting held at Flint Oak. The planning committee spearheaded by Chad Arnold put together a great agenda and for the first time ever EKOGA attendees had the opportunity to meet with two Kansas Corporation Commissioners at the same meeting.
The regulatory panel included updates from Kansas Corporation Commissioners Andrew French (Chairman) and Dwight Keen. The commissioners offered remarks and industry updates followed by an hour and a half question and answer session.
Both commissioners spoke freely and answered many questions about climate change, the new green deal, well plugging and many other topics important to the industry. The scheduled one-hour session lasted almost two hours and could have gone longer if time permitted. We want to thank Ryan Hoffman and Troy Russell for their comments and participation at the meeting.
The education session was very informative as well. The deep freeze that the Mid-West experience last year (albeit two weeks) caused rolling black outs and natural gas price spikes. Patrick Vogelsburg – Kansas Gas Service and Jason Sweeney – Southern Star were on hand to discuss the reasons for the power failures and prices spikes for natural gas and electricity.
Kansas Strong Executive Director Warren Martin concluded the education session with a presentation
“How Producers/Suppliers Weathered the 2020 Downturn and Pandemic…” and also talked about the
price spikes caused by the artic blast.
Thank You Sponsors! Your support made the Mid-Year a huge success.
David & Kay Bleakley
The Monarch Cement Co.
McGown Drilling, Inc.
Oil Patch Pump & Supply Co.
Trimble & Maclaskey Oilfield Services
Altavista Energy, Inc.
Colt Energy, Inc.
CVR Refining, LP
D.E Exploration, Inc.
Maclaskey Oilfield Services
CVR Refining, LP
Clay Shoot Sponsors:
The Monarch Cement Co.
Blue Top Crude
At the legislative level, several legislators are vying to be State Treasurer – Senator Caryn Tyson, Representative Steve Johnson and Michael Austin former economic advisor to Governor Sam Brownback have filed campaign documents.
Senator Kellie Warren has filed in the Attorney General race and will face former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Anthony Mattivi for the GOP nomination.
A Johnson County District Court judge has dismissed the lawsuit of parents against the Shawnee Mission School District based on a newly passed law the judge held to be largely unconstitutional.
Judge David W. Hauber ruled that the Legislature’s most sweeping effort to shrink the authority of the governor, school boards, and other local units of government to impose COVID-19 pandemic safety rules has the Legislature stepping into the constitutionally protected domains of school districts and the judiciary.
Hauber’s decision, critical of the Legislature, also took issue with Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a candidate for GOP nomination for governor, for not dealing with the issue of legislative interference with management decisions made by school districts in his defense of the bill, leaning toward parents’ rights to challenge school rules. Hauber held that challenges to mask rules “are hereby determined to be unenforceable, regardless of the merits.” In his opinion, Hauber said that the bill — which he characterized as an attack on public schools -- didn’t “protect” schoolchildren. SB 40, which pares authority of the governor and school districts under the Emergency Orders act of the state, was passed 118-5 in the House and 31-8 in the Senate (which were enough votes for an override of a veto) and signed into law by Gov. Laura Kelly on March 25. Practically, the bill passed on political grounds, and found some House Democratic support as a way to prevent conservatives from further wrestling emergency response authority from the governor.
Schmidt plans to appeal the decision.
The Legislature is in the off year, meaning elections are not until November 2022. You are probably receiving requests for campaign contributions. I would caution you if you were considering contributing at this point. The majority of legislators have not filed for re-election and we don’t know if they plan to run again. Make sure you ask the question, when are you going to file for reelection? When they do file, that is the proper time to contribute.