Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry’s ascension to the chairmanship of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission continues a long tradition of the state’s leadership of this important organization. Every Oklahoma governor has served as an IOGCC chairman; the group was founded by 1935 by then Gov. E.W. Marland. Henry’s appointment, to succeed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, also puts him in a better position to influence President-elect Barack Obama on energy issues of concern to the state and its taxpayers. Henry supported Obama and might be well-suited to sway his opinion on the need to aggressively pursue domestic oil and gas exploration even as the administration builds a bridge to the future with alternative energy projects. The Democratic Congress will likely continue to demonize oil and gas (until the next wave of high gasoline prices results in constituent pressure). Henry and other state Democrats know there’s a place for all kinds of energy and that fossil fuels have not outlived their usefulness.