By MIKE NEAL
President and CEO Tulsa Metro Chamber
The Tulsa Metro Chamber recently learned Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony announced his intent to revisit a 24-year-old rate case relating to AT&T for a record fifth time. It certainly made the Chamber question why a case dating back to 1986, and reviewed in 1992, 1997 and 2003 would make its way to the forefront again.
As the largest economic development organization in Northeast Oklahoma, the Chamber serves as the convener and intervener when necessary. We believe Commissioner Anthony’s actions are exactly the sort of red flag that could send companies elsewhere. We appreciate the Oklahoma Supreme Court recognizing when a case is closed-leave it closed.
To revive years of paperwork, cause undue cost on both AT&T and the taxpayers of Oklahoma is simply bad for business.
Right now, Oklahoma is fighting with Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas and states nationwide for jobs, investment, economic development and growth. While there are signs the national economy is regaining strength, the “trickle-down” effect has reached the State of Oklahoma and now is the time to encourage the private sector to create more jobs and make new capital investments.
In today’s global economy, the movement of capital, companies, technologies, information, and people are widespread. Businesses have more choices than ever where to direct their resources and assets; they can go anywhere. Capital and business go where they are welcome, where they are safe, and where they have, not a guarantee, but a reasonable prospect of making a profit over time.
The Tulsa Chamber is focused every single day on selling Oklahoma as a good place to do business, but a cumbersome regulatory environment undermines it all.
Let’s ensure from the Governor’s office, to the Corporation Commission to the State House and Senate to City Hall that Oklahoma is one of the most business-friendly states in the nation in which to create jobs and create a profit.