Monday, September 13, 2010

Business Leaders Fear More Federal Regulation

Fears of increased federal regulation and continued policy uncertainty brought more than 130 business leaders from all over Oklahoma together today in Washington in an appeal to the congressional leaders for continued support.

The group traveled to Washington as part of The State Chamber’s annual D.C. Fly-In.

Members lobbied the congressional delegation to continue to be a strong check on the ever-expanding federal reach into issues directly affecting businesses across the country.

Of particular concern is the effect the recently-passed health care bill will have on businesses in Oklahoma; how changing energy policy will affect one of the state’s top industries; and the tax structure for businesses and their employees alike that could ultimately affect the bottom line.

“It is critical that our congressional leaders hear from us firsthand how important it is for them to push pro-business legislation in Washington, D.C. These business leaders represent industries that drive the economy of our state and give Oklahomans good-paying jobs,” said President and CEO of The State Chamber Fred Morgan. “We cannot forget that our economy is not going to recover fully until businesses across our country and in Oklahoma are allowed to flourish. Luckily, Oklahoma’s congressional delegation has been and will continue to be supportive of pro-growth policies, and it is important that we remind them that their hard work on behalf of the business community is appreciated,” Morgan said.

The more than 130 business leaders in attendance represent those in the energy, technology, agriculture and aerospace industries, among others. Today, the business leaders heard from a panel discussing energy and economic policy and how the elections this November may impact those issues, along with a host of others.

Martin Regalia, senior vice president and chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said it is encouraging that the economy is growing again. But unfortunately, he added, it is not growing fast enough.

Rayola Dougher, senior economic adviser for the American Petroleum Institute, emphasized the significance of oil and gas in Oklahoma and America to the group of business leaders.

“The upcoming elections give us an ideal time to come visit with our congressional leaders during The State Chamber D.C. Fly-In. This trip gives business leaders from across our state a chance to come together and remind our congressional leaders how vital a strong economy is to our state,” said The State Chamber Board Chairman David Rainbolt. “This trip allows us to share some concerns with our political leaders about legislation that could lead to instability in our state’s economy. It also helps us build lasting relationships with our political leaders, which will hopefully lead to continued pro-growth policies coming out of Washington, D.C.,” he said.

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