“The March 16, 2018, edition of the Wichita Business Journal contained a list of the top 25 Lobbyists, ranked by their Total Money Spent in Kansas during 2017. I am happy to report that KIOGA did not make the list.”
“I am always amazed by the fact that the United States is virtually the only country on earth with private ownership of minerals. So pat yourself on the back if you are producing oil and natural gas, because you have helped send kids to college, helped pay for lifesaving medical treatments, paid off farm loans, and generally had a positive impact on thousands of lives in the State of Kansas.”
– Ken White, Chair, President, Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association, KIOGA, May/June 2018, pp. 4–5.
Trade associations are part of the undesigned market order. In the free-market development of oil and gas in the United States, trade groups representing member companies formed before government intervention made it more imperative that they do so. Standardization was the chief reason prior to the advent of energy politics.
As I explained in Oil, Gas, and Government: The U.S. Experience;” (p. 22):
Standardization of equipment specifications and advances in oil and gas accounting were achieved through cooperative efforts within the American Petroleum Institute beginning in the 1920s. Another example of cooperative success was the formation of the Natural Gasoline Association in 1921 to formulate distillation and blending standards to improve motor gasoline quality to increase consumer acceptance.
Now imagine a world with minimal government intervention in oil and gas markets where legal contracts and the rule of law prevailed. That world does not exist, but for one trade association in an oil and gas state, KIOGA in Kansas, things are going in the right direction.
Please read the major parts of the Chairman’s Letter penned by Ken White:
The March 16, 2018, edition of the Wichita Business Journal contained a list of the top 25 Lobbyists, ranked by their Total Money Spent in Kansas during 2017. I am happy to report that [The Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association] id not make the list.
At the top of the list was the high profile Americans For Prosperity group, with an expenditure of just under $400,000 for the year. The bottom of the list had several associations just below $8,000 for the year. It’s not that we don’t care; it’s just not what we do. KIOGA’s lobbying expenditures for 2015 thru 2017 averaged less than $2,000 per year.
This is because KIOGA is a Trade Association and not a Political Action Committee. The main function of KIOGA is to lobby on a state and federal level, to protect our interests and to promote our industry. I am very proud that we did not make the list because it means that we are able to make an impact in Topeka and elsewhere based on relationships and common sense, not golf outings and steak dinners.
KIOGA does not make public endorsements for candidates for public office, and we do not make any campaign contributions. That does not mean that we do not want to recognize legislators who understand and support our issues, and we greatly encourage our membership to support those legislators who show an understanding of the contributions that we make to enhance everyone’s lives. As this year’s election season gets going over the next few months, we encourage you to make educated decisions on whom to support on your ballot.
Former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill coined a phrase that “all politics is local”. The meaning of this well used phrase has been widely discussed, but in our instance, I think it means that no elected offi ce representing us is too small to ignore. Sure we might elect an industry friendly Governor, but if our elected State Senate and House members are ignorant, we will not be able to achieve the desired results for our efforts.
There are 40 State Senators and 125 State Representatives. In several trips I have made to Topeka this year, it has become apparent to me how important it is that we recognize the significance of each one of these legislators. Some of you may not know the name of your State Senator or Representative. It’s time you find that out, and if they are up for re-election, please ask them, or any other candidates, questions that will help you make an informed decision on election day. Trust me, if you contact them, they like to talk, and talk, and talk…..
We can all breathe a sigh of relief that the 2018 Kansas Legislative Session ended on May 4th. As near as I can tell, no legislation passed during the session that would harm either our industry, or the thousands of mineral owners who depend on us to safely develop their mineral resources. This does not mean that KIOGA’s work is done for the year.
Ed Cross and all of our great member volunteers will be preparing for all of the attacks on our industry that we expect in the coming years on the state and federal levels. We also are involved in several active dockets with the [Kansas Conservation Commission] which will be worked on throughout the summer months.
Industry volunteers are also actively involved in state sponsored workgroups concerning induced seismicity and salt water disposal well regulations KIOGA does more than just supply a strong defense for our industry, we hope to provide information and services that make your life easier….
I am always amazed by the fact that the United States is virtually the only country on earth with private ownership of minerals. So pat yourself on the back if you are producing oil and natural gas, because you have helped send kids to college, helped pay for lifesaving medical treatments, paid off farm loans, and generally had a positive impact on thousands of lives in the State of Kansas.
There are people out there who do not understand what we provide to enhance all lives. I can assure you that any countries that do not have oil and gas production wish that they did, and all landowners who live in countries that do not allow private mineral ownership are envious of us. Please continue communicating our story with all that you come into contact with and if you need any help educating the uninformed, please let us know….
Summer is here, oil prices are much better, Topeka is on vacation. Does it get any better than this?
Keep Drilling! – Ken White
Keep drilling indeed! Take the oil and gas out of the ground–and keep energy politics buried.