Dana Murphy, the chair of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, spent Monday in Pawhuska speaking with the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce, meeting with residents and visitors in the historic downtown area, and held a meet-and-greet event at Buffalo Joe’s Restaurant.
During her visit, Murphy said she is running for Oklahoma’s lieutenant governor’s position, not as a political stepping stone, but because she feels she has the resolve and leadership qualities to help guide the state through tough decisions in a bipartisan way.
“As a fifth-generation Oklahoman, I am proud of this state, and my passion for its success runs deep,” Murphy said. “It is no secret that Oklahoma is at a crossroads. Our state’s next set of leaders must be able to navigate solutions that spur our economic recovery while also addressing and improving basic public services. I believe my experience and skills as a proven problem-solver are needed now more than ever to help Oklahoma.”
In November 2008, Murphy was elected to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, a statewide office that regulates the complicated world of oil and gas production and wastewater injection in 76 of 77 counties and public electric power generation in all areas of Oklahoma.
The Corporation Commission does not have jurisdiction in Osage County for oil and gas production, or wastewater injection. That responsibility lies with the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, since the Osage Nation’s reservation extends to the mineral rights within the county.
When oil and gas production and injection wells were found to be the cause for most of Oklahoma’s earthquakes, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission works hand-in-hand with the EPA to shut down suspect injection wells, Murphy said.
“When the 5.8 magnitude quake hit Pawnee County in September 2016, we worked with the EPA to examine suspect injection wells within Osage County that were in the radius of the earthquake,” Murphy said. “The EPA followed our recommended actions and shut down some injection wells or slowed injection volume.”
Additionally, under Murphy’s leadership as the chairman of the Corporation Commission, the agency volunteered services after the gas seepage was discovered this summer at Pawhuska High School.
Murphy said those tough decisions and ability to work with other agencies are examples of the type of leadership Oklahomans deserve with a proactive lieutenant governor.
“Being on the Corporation Commission, and chairing the Commission since the beginning of this year, is a tough job, sometimes where you have to come to an agreement that not all parties will like,” Murphy said. “I am a problem-solver and can work with all parties to come up with solutions to difficult challenges. That’s exactly what Oklahoma needs right now. We are at a crossroads and need strong leadership to help navigate these problems.”
Murphy said the biggest challenge facing Oklahoma is how the state deals with the budget. Facing multimillion dollar shortfalls each year is not sustainable, she said, and a broad resolution is needed to bring stability to Oklahoma’s state agencies.
As lieutenant governor, Murphy said she will work to help lawmakers and agency leaders examine incentives, efficiencies and revenue generation.
“It is time we address the roots of long-standing problems instead of continuing to treat symptoms of these problems,” she said. “I am ready to move the Lieutenant Governor position beyond its traditional role to be a part of a new plan for our state that comes from different thinking, planning and resolving,” said Murphy.
Murphy was born in Woodward. She earned a degree in geology at Oklahoma State University. After working as a geologist for 10 years, she obtained her law degree cum laude at Oklahoma City University. On Nov. 4, 2008, Murphy was elected to the statewide office of Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner where she was also elected by her peers in January 2017 as chairman of the Commission.
Murphy’s prior experience includes working for almost six years as an administrative law judge at the Commission, where she was named co-employee of the year for 1997 and received the Commissioners’ Public Servant Award in 2001. She has more than 20 years of experience in the petroleum industry including owning and operating her own private law practice specializing in oil and gas title, regulatory practice and transactional work and working as a geologist in the Oklahoma petroleum industry.
Murphy lives in Edmond, and spends many weekends in Ellis County, working on the family farm.