Ensuring that ONEOK understands the potential impacts that proposed legislative and regulatory policies may have on our ability to do business is important to sustaining operations and executing growth strategies.

Our Government Relations department plays an ongoing role in monitoring public policy, supporting growth through advocacy
and managing the ONEOK Employee Political Action Committee (ONEOK PAC).

The department proactively works with stakeholders to advocate for our business, and in 2016, we had many successes in Oklahoma and Kansas on issues such as property tax and pipeline safety. While North Dakota and Texas legislatures were not in session in 2016, we remained diligent in those states, monitoring interim hearings and industry studies related to our business.

Pipeline Safety Legislation

ONEOK has a comprehensive ESH focus that entails maintaining the safe and reliable operation of its assets. In 2016, promoting a greater compliance with One Call, a damage-prevention program requiring calls to 811 before digging, contributed to our pipeline safety efforts.

Damage to underground utilities like pipelines has the ability to impact the safety of employees and the public, disrupt the environment and delay operations. We promote 100 percent compliance of One Call and similar measures to reduce these risks.

In Oklahoma, we promoted legislation requiring all Oklahoma municipalities to participate in the state’s One Call system, and in North Dakota, we met with a group of stakeholders to build consensus for proposed changes to the laws governing its system.

The North Dakota group’s recommendations were adopted by the interim Economic Impact Committee and introduced as a bill for the 2017 legislative session. Government Relations is monitoring and supporting similar legislation in Montana.

Involvement in Industry Associations

Government Relations’ inclusion in various industry associations, committees and stakeholder groups strengthens its ability to advocate for ONEOK’s interests. Through involvement in these groups, we participate in discussions about policy issues related to our business and provide input from the midstream sector. In 2016, ONEOK was involved in more than 20 groups in 10 states within our footprint and Washington, D.C., including:

Washington, D.C.

  • Master Limited Partnership Association
  • Interstate Natural Gas Association of America’s Legislative Committee and Tax Task Force
  • GPA Midstream Association, including its Legislative and Regulatory committees
  • Association of Oil Pipeline’s Legislative Committee
  • American Petroleum Institute


  • State Chamber of Oklahoma Board of Directors and its Legislative Affairs; Economic Development, Taxation and Retail; and Energy and Natural Resources committees
  • Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association’s Midstream, Legislative and Regulatory Practices committees
  • Environmental Federation of Oklahoma

Kansas, Illinois, Colorado and Indiana

  • Kansas Petroleum Council’s Legislative Committee
  • Illinois Petroleum Council’s Legislative Committee
  • Colorado Petroleum Council’s Legislative Committee
  • Indiana Petroleum Council’s Legislative Committee

Texas and New Mexico

  • Texas Oil and Gas Association’s Legislative, Regulatory Practices, Pipeline and Communications committees
  • Texas Pipeline Association
  • New Mexico Oil and Gas Association

North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming

  • North Dakota Common Ground Alliance Board of Directors
  • North Dakota One Call Stakeholders Group
  • North Dakota Petroleum Council’s Regulatory, Outreach, Communications and Tribal Lands committees
  • North Dakota EmPower Commission
  • Montana One Call Stakeholders Group
  • Montana Petroleum Association’s Legislative and Communications committees
  • Petroleum Association of Wyoming’s Legislative Committee
  • North Dakota Flaring Task Force

Another important role of Government Relations is to advocate for our industry in the communities where we operate, specifically when ONEOK has projects planned or under construction, as it did in Oklahoma in 2016 with a planned, approximately 22-mile pipeline connecting ONEOK’s Edmond Storage facility to a third-party electric-generation plant in Oklahoma City.

Key responsibilities during these projects include participating in pre-construction discussions, educating legislative and regulatory entities about the project, providing information about the project to stakeholders and supporting the communities in the project’s vicinity.