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A bill to reform energy litigation matters passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is headed to the full Senate. The bill passed by a 6-3 vote.
It was authored in the House by Rep. Fred Jordan, passed the House Judiciary Committee in February, and passed the full House in March. Sen. Rob Johnson took up the bill in the Senate. It would create the Energy Litigation Reform Act meant to reduce the number of lawsuits filed against energy companies.
The State Chamber of Oklahoma has championed the bill, which it said would reverse a 2010 court decision that led to an increase of lawsuits against energy companies in the state. Chamber officials said if the decision is not reversed, it would make Oklahoma the only oil and gas state where producers face punitive damages for breach of applicable lease agreements.
“Money spent to defend against
abusive lawsuits means less money spent on drilling and exploration,” said
Fred Morgan, chamber president, "which means less revenue to our state and fewer
jobs created at a time when we need them the most.”