House Committee

Committee on Utilities

Committees News & Announcements

Feb 29, 2024
Recent Posts

House Passes Overhaul of Obama-Era Transmission Policy

The Oklahoma House of Representatives today passed legislation to implement free market principles and assert states' rights in high-voltage transmission construction and ownership. Rep. Trey Caldwell, R-Lawton, authored House Bill 4097, which would give Oklahoma the right to decide how critical transmission infrastructure located within the state would be owned and maintained. "I sat through hundreds of hours of meetings to help Oklahomans who are living on a fixed income or struggling to make ends meet," Caldwell said. "We all know how unpredictable utility bills are, and our constituents are paying more and more every month. Legislators should jump at every opportunity to lower customer costs, especially one that creates the optimal balance of free market principles and states' rights." HB4097 expands the pool of potential qualified transmission developers who could enter the competitive bidding process, resulting in lower building costs that are ultimately passed onto consumers. "Under this new policy, the state would oversee the competitive process and associated rate recovery, clawing back oversight from the federal government," Caldwell said. "Stakeholders overwhelmingly said they have more success advocating for ratepayers at the OCC than in Washington, D.C. Returning the authority to the elected Oklahoma Corporation Commission ensures Oklahomans have a voice." HB4097 eliminates a patchwork grid of accountability by closing regulatory loopholes created by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that allow unregulated entities to own transmission in our state with no accountability or oversight. The state would maintain greater accountability over critical transmission infrastructure costs and safeguard reliability by requiring the state's local electric companies to continue to answer to the elected Oklahoma Corporation Commission. "The Obama Administration forced this policy change on Oklahomans, and utility prices have been rising ever since," Caldwell said. "By cutting federal government red tape, we can increase competition on the front end, which will naturally reduce the rising rates we are experiencing." Caldwell said this policy is a first-of-its-kind in the nation for competitive transmission, but it follows a similar generation model that already exists. The measure, which is not retroactive, would take effect Nov. 1, 2024. HB4097 passed the House 65 – 29 and is now available for consideration in the Senate, where it is carried by Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle.

Dec 21, 2023
Recent Posts

Speaker McCall Assigns Caldwell, Dobrinski New Committee Leadership Positions

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, today assigned Rep. Trey Caldwell, R-Lawton, and Rep. Mike Dobrinski, R-Okeene, to new committee leadership positions. Caldwell will serve as Vice Chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee, and Dobrinski will serve as Chair of the House Utilities Committee. "Rep. Caldwell and Rep. Dobrinski are important leaders both in our caucus, and in the House of Representatives," McCall said. "The depth of experience, and attention to detail, that they bring to these new positions will serve our members, and the citizens of our state well." Caldwell previously served as Chair of the Utilities Committee and is excited about his new role. "I am honored to be chosen by Speaker McCall to serve in this important role," Caldwell said. "During my time in the House, I have made it a priority to ensure that the Legislature is a good steward of taxpayer dollars. I am thankful that I will get to continue working to increase transparency and accountability in the appropriations process through this new role." Dobrinski served as Vice Chair of the Utilities Committee, a role he believes will help him as he ascends to Chair. "I am thankful that Speaker McCall has trusted me to lead the Utilities Committee," Dobrinski said. "As our state grows, and new businesses choose to expand into Oklahoma, it is vital that we stay ahead of utility needs that arise both now and in the future. Serving as vice chair has given me a unique perspective into the issues that will come before the committee, and I am excited for the opportunity to work with my fellow members in the upcoming session." The leadership changes are effective immediately, and the second regular session of the 59th Oklahoma Legislature convenes on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. -END- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Daniel Seitz, House Republican Caucus Communications Director Phone: (405) 962-7649 Email: daniel.seitz@okhouse.gov  

Committee Members



Mike Dobrinski


District 59

Vice Chair

Terry O'Donnell


District 23

Steve Bashore


District 7

Meloyde Blancett


District 78

Jeff Boatman


District 67

Trey Caldwell


District 63

Mickey Dollens


District 93

Ross Ford


District 76

Brian Hill


District 47

T.J. Marti


District 75

Kenton Patzkowsky


District 61

Clay Staires


District 66

House Staff Assigned

Mariah Searock

Deputy Fiscal Counsel

Jacob Laughlin

Staff Attorney II

Jeff Hubbard

Staff Attorney III

Emily Byrne

Policy Analyst