Commissioner Anthony opposes federal energy strategies

The Tulsa Beacon - May 30, 2012

America needs all the energy it can get and Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony said the state should not be penalized for success by the federal government.

Anthony is running for re-election and faces Brooks Mitchell in the June 26 GOP primary. It is the only statewide race on the ballot.

“We in Oklahoma are in the crossroads of some extremely changes that are going to affect everybody’s pocketbook and their lifestyle,” Anthony said. “Technology in almost every arena is changing and changing fast and you need somebody in office who understands that.”

Anthony said there is a “shale gas revolution” in natural gas exploration and production in Oklahoma.

“Some of our companies have helped pioneer it,” Anthony said.

Yet the Environment Protection Agency has just issued 800 pages of new regulations for hydraulic fracturing and related things. Just because people in some states are nervous about drilling doesn’t mean that Oklahoma should go along with it, Anthony said.

Oklahoma has had hydraulic fracturing for more than 60 years.

“We have probably done it more than 100,000 times,” Anthony said. “We have not had one instance of ground water contamination. Yet in certain states in the Northeast, people with certain political agendas are trying to use scare tactics to scare people off.

“It’s bad for the nation not to take advantage of domestic resources.”

Anthony said common-sense solutions are needed.

“America is about to bankrupt itself with all the oil it imports for gasoline,” Anthony said. “The incredible technology of horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and the shale gas that we can produce can dramatically improve our national financial situation and our balance of payments.

“Why the Obama Administration prohibited the Keystone Pipeline from coming down to Cushing, Oklahoma?” Anthony asked. “It’s pure politics. It is costing us jobs.”

Anthony drives a vehicle powered by compressed natural gas. He said Oklahoma leads the nation in conversion to CNG-powered vehicles.

The Corporation Commission regulates telephone service and Anthony said great steps have been take to accommodate consumers.

Tulsa has the largest toll-free telephone calling circle in the United States. It stretches from Claremore to Okmulgee to Wagoner.

“The phone company used to make a lot of money off those long-distance calls,” Anthony said. “I said, let’s just draw the biggest circle that anyone has ever heard of. It’s 35 miles in its radius and we put everybody together.”

Helping regional economics was at the heart of that change, Anthony said.

“It shouldn’t be punitive,” Anthony said.

Anthony favored the recent overlay of a new area code in Tulsa because “everybody got to keep their area code,” he said. The state was running out of 918 numbers and the answer was an overlay or a split of the area code.

Anthony was first elected to the commission in 1988 becoming the first Republican elected to that body in 60 years, receiving more votes than any Republican since statehood. In 1994, Anthony became the first Republican incumbent in Oklahoma history to win re-election to a state office. When re-elected in 2000, he received more votes than any candidate for state office in Oklahoma history.

In 2000, Anthony got 68 percent of the vote in Tulsa County. He won his fourth consecutive six-year term in 2006.

Since then, all statewide elected offices have come under term limits but even though Anthony has served 23 years, he will be eligible to be re-elected for two more six-year terms.

Anthony was the key vote in authorizing an office for the Corporation Commission in Tulsa.

The FBI recognized Anthony with its highest award given to “a citizen who, at great personal sacrifice, has unselfishly served his community and the nation.” He wore a wire as part of an FBI probe into bribes for Oklahoma Corporation commissioners.

Anthony holds a B.S. degree from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, a masters degree from the London School of Economics, an M.A. from Yale University, and an M.P.A. from Harvard University.

He served in the U.S. Army Reserve where he earned the rank of captain. In 1972, he was the staff economist for the Interior Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, and in 1976 he served as a consultant to the U.S. Library of Congress. From 1979 to 1980, he served on the City Council of Oklahoma City.

From 1980 to 1987 Bob served as president of the C. R. Anthony Company which was then the largest privately owned company headquartered in Oklahoma.

“I have been president of a company whose sales were measured in hundreds of millions of dollars,” Anthony said.

In addition to holding public office, Bob’s civic involvement has included service as chairman of the trust committee of the largest bank trust company in Oklahoma, president of the Economic Club of Oklahoma, board chairman of Crown Heights United Methodist Church and lay delegate to the 2008 and 2012 General Conferences of the United Methodist Church.

All four of Anthony’s grandparents came to Oklahoma before statehood. His father was born in Cleveland, Oklahoma, and his mother grew up in Enid. Bob and his wife Nancy were married in 1975. They have four daughters and two grandchildren.

During this campaign, he has pledged to work on the following:

  • creating jobs by making Oklahoma utility rates more competitive
  •  promoting natural gas usage in vehicles, homes and businesses
  • strengthening consumer protections
  •  ordering the largest utility refunds in state history
  •  rooting out corruption
  •  reducing regulatory burdens to business
  •  growing domestic energy production
  •  protecting the environment
  •  bringing wind power to the state
  •  rolling out high-speed Internet and enhanced 911
  •  enforcing the toughest ethics code of any state agency
  •  increasing utility reliability standards
  •  offering incentives for energy efficiency
  • upgrading technology for schools and tele-medicine
  •  deregulating intrastate trucking
  •  improving railroad and pipeline safety

To contact Anthony, go to

© 2012 The Tulsa Beacon

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