The Developing Role of Federal Energy Regulations

Duke Ligon - Diverse Experience as Oklahoma City Oil Executive
Duke Ligon, Oklahoma City

As an attorney and a board member of multiple energy production companies, Duke Ligon of Oklahoma City has an interest in laws regulating the energy industry. Duke Ligon is co-chair of the executive council of Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business, working with the University of Texas to inform rising generations of energy producers about industry regulation.

Legal regulations surrounding energy production, transmission, and consumption serve a range of purposes. The Department of Energy was established in 1977 as a direct response to the energy crisis of that decade. Prior to the DoE, such matters were addressed by the Federal Power Commission established in 1920, but the resource scarcity of the Great Depression and WWII, in addition to the growing demand on power systems and fuel sources over the 20th century, gradually led the government to take more direct action.

Recent years have seen the government’s mission expand further with the growing concerns regarding foreign dependence, pollution, and climate change. Besides offering incentives for innovations in energy efficiency and emission reduction, the Department of Energy has determined that it would set an example of responsible energy use. It is committed that by 2025, the federal government will draw at least 30 percent of its energy use from renewable sources and that at least 25 percent would be from clean energy.


The Growth of the Freelancing Industry

Love’s Entrepreneurship Center  pic
Love’s Entrepreneurship Center

Duke Ligon, the former senior vice president of Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corporation, is now the owner and manager of Mekusukey Oil Company, LLC, which he founded in 1970. Duke Ligon previously served as executive director of Love’s Entrepreneurship Center at Oklahoma City University.

Love’s Entrepreneurship Center helps entrepreneurial students make connections and get strong starts to their careers. This help is particularly important given the rise of freelancing in the United States in recent years. More than 50 million Americans now identify themselves as freelancers, with the freelancing workforce growing 500 percent between 2000 and 2014.

Freelancing is a career path that many young entrepreneurs aim to follow, though it requires great dedication. A study by Paychex, an online HR company, looked at 400,000 freelancers across the United States and found that more than 130,000 freelanced for only one year before returning to work for a company.

Regina to Host 2017 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference


Williston Basin Petroleum Conference pic
Williston Basin Petroleum Conference

A graduate of the University of Texas Law School who has gone on to accrue more than 35 years of experience practicing energy law, Duke Ligon currently serves on numerous boards of directors for publicly traded or closely held companies within and beyond the Oklahoma City area. Although he has worked primarily in Oklahoma City throughout his career, Duke Ligon is currently a board member for Emerald Oil, which is based in Denver, Colorado.

An oil exploration and production business, Emerald Oil has ownership of approximately 121,000 acres in the Williston Basin, one of North America’s largest oil resources. The Williston Basin is a sedimentary basin area that covers more than 250,000 square kilometers in three states and two Canadian provinces and each year a petroleum conference is held to enhance crude oil education and development.

The 2017 conference will be held in Regina, Saskatchewan from May 2-4 and it will feature exhibitors and presenters from throughout the oil and gas industry, with an emphasis on topics such as production optimization, remote capture technologies, and environmental issues, among others.

To learn more, those interested can visit

The American Civil War Guarantees a Future for Democracy

The Civil War Trust pic
The Civil War Trust

Holding leadership positions at several energy companies, Duke Ligon of Oklahoma City also finds time for community organizations, including the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the Civil War Trust. Duke Ligon is on the Civil War Trust’s board of trustees.

The Civil War Trust is committed to preserving the history of the American Civil War. Ligon’s intere is borne not only from his own experience as a Bronze Star-holding U.S. Army captain, but from a family history that counts three ancestors in the conflict.

The Civil War was the single bloodiest experience in U.S. history in terms of American casualties. At the same time, it was also a critical transformative experience. New Constitutional amendments abolished slavery and expanded citizenship and voting rights, the federal government had established its supremacy over the states, and northern entrepreneurial capitalism become the economic ideal over southern traditional agrarianism.

These consequences were not limited to the US itself, however, as the country was still very much an experiment in republican government – one which firmly held the attention of Europe and its former colonies.

As the Civil War progressed, many of the monarchs, emperors, and aristocrats anticipated that the US would emerge broken, conclusively proving the failure self-government. Spain and France even initiated plans to reclaim portions of the Americas. Instead, the US emerged from the war with a formidable military, thriving industry, and renewed commitment to its principles, emboldening other proponents of self-government throughout the hemisphere to take action. Spain and France withdrew their interests, Britain allowed the dominion of Canada to become self-governed (expecting that the US would attempt to annex it anyway), and Russia sold its Alaskan territory to the US, resulting in a complete European withdrawal from the Americas. In the case of Britain, Spain, and France, all three nations would see their monarchies either removed or severely limited in power by the end of the 19th century, adopting democratic reforms in their place.